I’ve always found Homer to be a great read, both from a mythological perspective and that of great narrative writing. The Iliad is my favourite of his epics, which is generally considered, along with the Odyssey, to be among the great works of early storytelling in world literature. So many of the elements we consider crucial to good writing today were combined to astonishing effect in his original oral compositions and diverse writers have been learning from Homer for thousands of years. It seems each new generation of writers and readers are drawn back to these classics.
I just finished listening to the Guardian Books Podcast, in which our enduring fascination with the Iliad is discussed by authors and academics alike. The discussion itself is worth a listen, but so is the segment that deals with recent book releases of translations and interpretations of Homer’s masterpiece. I particularly like the reading given by Alice Oswald of one of her poems grounded directly in the Iliad from her new book Memorial. I’ve already placed it in a wish-list with hopes of reading it in its entirety in the next year or so.
If you feel inclined to have a listen to the podcast, you can find the link here.