Day 1: Reading – Introduction (pages xi-xxvii); Assignment: first reading journa

Day 1:
Reading – Introduction (pages xi-xxvii); Assignment: first reading journal
entry. Day 2: Reading – Introduction
(finish) and Book 1; Assignment: second reading journal entry. Day 3: Reading – Dictionary of Literary
Terms; The Penelopiad start – 38; Assignment: third reading journal entry OR
worksheet on literary terms. Day 4:
Reading – Book 9 (Lattimore translation) AND Blindness (Mason short story);
Assignment: Reading journal entry; Day 5:
Reading – Penelopiad 39-98; Assignment: Reading journal entry.
Here are some guiding thoughts/questions for
your reading journal entry number 1. Feel free to use one or some of these
thoughts/comments as a jumping off point for your journal entry, but do NOT
attempt to answer them all. Choose one or two if you want, but try to use them
as jumping off points. I will give you feedback letting you know to do more of
something or less without penalizing your grade as long as you are doing the
assignment in the spirit in which it was given.
The parts of the introduction that I have
asked you to read for Day 1 can be broken into four parts. 1) A short
introduction to the introduction itself; 2) A chronological synopsis of The
Odyssey; 3) An analysis of how the story of The Odyssey is not told
chronologically or in a straight line; 4) A summary/analysis of some of the
characters.
Some thoughts/questions for consideration:
Which of parts 2-4 in the introduction did you
find most interesting and why?
How much, if any, familiarity do you have with
the story of The Odyssey? Where do you know whatever part of the story you know
from?
Part 3 focuses on how much flashbacks are used
in The Odyssey. Can you think of any other books, movies, TV shows that you
enjoy or know well use flashbacks? If so, what are they? And do they seem to
compare to the use of flashbacks in The Odyssey?
Which of the characters detailed in part 4 of
the introduction do you find most interesting and why?
Which character(s) described in the synopsis
from part 2 of the synopsis that is not discussed in part 4 are you interested
in learning more about? Why?
What parts of the synopsis in part 2 confuse
you? Be specific about how you are confused.
(For
the record, this is just over 300 words.)
Reading Log Entries Day 2
The first part of
your reading assignment continues the Introduction. The first two sections are
very important (“Oral Poetry” and “Homer and History”), and I want you to make
sure you read them carefully, and make sure you respond, at least in part to them.
The sections afterwards are useful, but not required reading.
Some
questions to consider about “Oral Poetry.” What is your understanding of the
idea that this book, which could take up to 30 hours to be read out loud was
something that was NOT written, but instead something recited? Does that even
seem possible to you? If you find it impressive (I surely do), how do you think
it was accomplished? What does that tell you about your understanding of
memory?
Some
questions to consider about “Homer and History.” This section is perhaps most
useful to me because I’d never heard the historical “details” or “facts” around
the book and the story it tells (the context). Can you think of another text
(book, movie, TV show) that you enjoy that like the Odyssey tells the story of
something that happened many, many years ago? What is it? Thinking about that
text after reading this section, how might you see how that text reveals as
much about our culture now as it does about the culture of the time it is
about?
The
second part of your reading assignment is Book 1 of The Odyssey. I would say
there are four different “scenes” in this first book. How would you break the
book down and organize it? In terms of the elements of literature from today’s
lesson, the settings and themes of this book/chapter strike me as most
interesting. What are the settings of this book/chapter? What do you think the
themes or ideas of this book/chapter are? How can you tell? Also, what do you
make of the scene with the poet telling/singing a story like The Odyssey
itself, that poet being interrupted by Penelope AND then Penelope being told to
leave it alone by her son Telemachus? (I find this to be a most interesting
movement.)

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