First off, I have a feeling that I will be re-reading a lot of these. I have nevertheless never contained my feelings on this edition, so if one knows me, one knows that which to expect.
I hated this. It was not a fun read for me. As I wrote Sunday, the translator Ennis Rees uses ‘God’ very often. I also cannot be invested in the story. This is not due to her, the story, being a bad story. She just has been told…in every genre…in every way.
My friend, S.S. Trantham — who is also doing the A-Z challenge with N.P.Cs. —, said when I was divulging my loathing for Dracula that (paraphrased):
Sometimes the greats are only greats because they did it first, and not because they were good.
Now, he enjoys Dracula, so he was speaking in general. I think a sister concept concerns Iliad. Iliad has been told so often that it has lost her originality. She bores me because I am not getting anything new from her. Achilles is letting his pride ruin his side of the war. Agamemnon — whose name I almost invariably misspell — is a toxic rapist. Paris is a toxic rapist. Hector is lawful good to a fault. No one wants to be in the war…save Agamemnon. Odysseus is a twat. Those are just the humans.
The treatment of the gods is enough to make me not want to read this. I used to love the Odyssey (is it Odyssey, or the Odyssey? I know Iliad has the definite article within the word. Is it the same with [the] Odyssey?), but that was before I knew more about Grecian religion.
Aphrodite had two well-known military forms. Aphrodite (which yes, she should be spelt Afrodite. I apologise.) Areia, and Aphrodite Urania. Areia was well-known in Sparta. Urania was armed in Kythira. Both of these are far from Homer’s home, so I am left with the conclusion that his insults of her capacity in war are nothing more than an attempt to discredit a goddess of love being a goddess of war as well.
It, unfortunately, worked. Looking at contemporary depictions of Aphrodite, and Ares (another god he admonishes in typical Eastern Greek fashion), we see that most derive from Homer. It angers me…clearly.
Back to the story though. She, the story, is full of typical, and trite masculine ball flexing. She is full of typical, and trite feminine womb flexing. It is one of the few depictions where I would argue there is toxic femininity. For example, the treatment of Helen by the Trojan women, and the treatment of Paris by Helen in the latter half are examples of how a female uses her cultures concepts of femaleness to abuse, and to oppress others.
I hated it all.
I read it though. I will re-read a different translation — I hope to read the original once in my life — to see if it could be that issues. A translation can really change everything. Who knows? Maybe Helen was not a completely abusive cow, and Agamemnon was not a complete waste of carbon.
I doubt it, but I will give a go.
Be safe. Be loved. Do not be an abusive cow, or a waste of carbon.