So, the Odyssey.
It was really interesting reading this, especially right after Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling is very analytical, and I found it very hard to read. I kept on having to stop and make notes to make sure I actually understood what Kierkegaard was saying. With the Odyssey, I had to make myself stop reading to make notes. I often found myself swept up in the narrative; especially during books 9-12 and 18-24. The way the story was written made me feel as if someone was telling it directly to me; a sense of intimacy that I didn’t find in our previous readings.
I did find it hard to connect to the characters; especially Odysseus. I felt like the narrative was very in-depth about his emotions without actually giving me any context for them. I didn’t know much about him; I had no firsthand experience with him—aside from the stories everyone else told about him, I had no idea who he really was. I understand that the Odyssey is a continuation of sorts of the Illiad, and maybe if I had read that I would know more about Odysseus and therefore be more sympathetic to his plight. As it is, it took until book 9 for me to really begin to empathize with him.
Maybe I would have been more sympathetic if I hadn’t read the story; but instead listened to someone read/perform it. I find that having stories read aloud gives me a different perspective on how the narrative plays out. Since I have a tendency to skim text when I am reading, having things read to me forces me to slow down and really listen to how the author (or in this case, the translator) phrases things.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the Odyssey; but I think I will have reread it again in order to fully appreciate some parts of it.