Les chants perdus de l'Odyssée

Les chants perdus de l Odyss e Following the structure of the ancient Greek classic The Lost Books of the Odyssey features alternative episodes fragments and revisions of Homer s original Odyssey and equipped as well with a fau

  • Title: Les chants perdus de l'Odyssée
  • Author: Zachary Mason Bernard Hoepffner
  • ISBN: 9782742792948
  • Page: 211
  • Format: None
  • Following the structure of the ancient Greek classic, The Lost Books of the Odyssey features alternative episodes, fragments, and revisions of Homer s original Odyssey and, equipped as well with a faux authoritative scholarly introduction, richly carries off the illusion of being the lost ur text of Homer s masterpiece.

    One thought on “Les chants perdus de l'Odyssée”

    1. I had a huge crush on Bronze Age Greece in my youth, though it was the women who fascinated me – Cassandra, Ariadne, Clytemnestra, Medea, Electra. The men, on the other hand, bored me a bit, often appearing like boy children in a school playground vying for prominence in a vainglorious male hierarchy of heroic one-upmanship. They are men whittled down to a single obsession which almost always has vanity at its root. As such they might now serve as powerful warnings of the damage men can wreak [...]

    2. Excellent. A brilliant idea beautifully executed. Prose as light as air. I questioned a few words (overreact, afterimage, etc.), which did not seem in keeping with the setting of antiquity, but found very little else amiss. One of Mason's models is Jorge Luis Borges--who once said that instead of creating tedious booklength narratives novelists should write critiques of imaginary books, which is essentially what Mason has done here--another influence may be Italo Calvino. The novel made me want [...]

    3. This was a transformative book – for the author more so than for me. Mason was a computer scientist working in AI. He had no formal education in either fiction or the classics, but had an abiding interest in The Odyssey since his early teenage years. When he finally completed this book after plugging away on it for years, he got zero interest from publishers or agents. Then he won a young writers’ competition and suddenly became a star. I noticed in his bio that he’s now teaching at Oxford [...]

    4. As a child I was obsessed with mythology, especially Ancient Egyptian, Norse and, of course, Greek. Every encyclopedia in my personal library which wasn’t devoted to animals of all sorts was devoted to myths from all over the world. I used to own many of them (I still do) and cherish them (that I don’t do now), because in a way they were more than just books, – cover, spine, paper – they were stories cosily settled between the pages, doors to oh so many other worlds, centuries and cultur [...]

    5. The Odyssey is a nice, easy to read story with the typical Greek literary virtues of lucidity and ambiguity (Euripedes does it best, imho), but it seems to me to be almost pathologically verbose in the fight scenes (there are interesting possible Reasons, written about by scholars like Simone Weil, why the violence is so OTT in Homer, but I still have to skip pages to be able to carry on at times. Ovid is even worse) and rather scant when it comes to certain long periods during which all sorts o [...]

    6. I wanted to like this a lot, so was probably more disappointed than I should have been. there was a stretch in the middle where I was really into every story, but there were some in the earlier & later parts of the book that were so in love with their own cleverness that it just left a sour taste in my mouth for the whole thing. also, I thought the pseudo-academic footnotes were poorly used, weakly sprinkled throughout & with no clear purpose (specifically, I often couldn't decide if the [...]

    7. underneath the cleverness and the copulating mirrors and the labyrinth architecture--of which there's admirably much--there's a melancholic source to all these odyssey-reflecting tales (victor of last year's penultimate starcherone fiction contest). all its revelations--the gods' winner's blues, the existential angst of the ancients, the mundane provenance of legends--are told with a wistful and appropriately epic heaviness. how he wrings from the original more and more and more and yet the worl [...]

    8. A sort of fictional apocrypha to Homer's original Odyssey, the faux introduction claims that the Lost Books come from a document that has been transcribed and handed down over time and only recently deciphered into a number of smaller books exploring different themes and variations of this story.What if Odysseus was a coward, whose actions ultimately resulted in the defeat of both sides, and he spent the next ten years disguised as a bard, telling the tale that became the Odyssey that we know to [...]

    9. Myth ReconfiguredGreat epics such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey do not spring to life fully formed. Rather, they are brought together out of myths that may have been floating around for centuries, but now given a new focus, new continuity, new language. Zachary Mason's book (I can't really call it a novel) takes many of the familiar episodes from both Homeric works, strips them down to essentials, retells them in language that is both lean and evocative, and seeks for new meanings behind the old. [...]

    10. This is a very nice series of riffs on different parts of the Odyssey, taking certain passages of the classic and re-imagining them (often times completely changing the context or speculating well into the future and beyond). It is absolutely not a novel, rather a collection of what-if's, and Mason's love and thought put into the source material is obvious.It is hard not to compare this to Borges, particularly in the more meta-fictional tales (which I, of course, loved). To give you an example, [...]

    11. A very pleasant weekend activity in Edinburgh: browsing the shelves of the Central Library, filling up my library card with new books, crossing the road to the National Library of Scotland, then drinking tea in the café there while reading a just-borrowed book. Today this was the book and I greatly enjoyed it. I love the Iliad and Odyssey, so gravitate towards re-tellings and variations upon them. This one is unusual as it takes the form of 44 little vignettes, some of which are barely more tha [...]

    12. I’ve never read the Odyssey or the Iliad; my only knowledge of both comes third or fourth-hand (from cinema and literary references*) and so I was a little apprehensive about picking up this book. As the title suggests, it’s a collection of stories – mostly very short – which purport to be a number of missing fragments from the Odyssey. To me it sounded like what a keen Classics scholar might produce over a few quiet weekends, something which might require a similar kind of specialist kn [...]

    13. Utilizing Homer's classic tale of the trials and tribulations of Odysseus, Zachary Mason presents his readership with variations on a theme. Here are alternative courses this destiny might have taken; different choices, different interventions, differing motives and means loosely drawn from the connective tissue of the ancient master's text.It is difficult at first to accept the shift of direction as Mason's voice sometimes slips into modern-day phrasing and expression, making trust a bit of an [...]

    14. I fell for this hard. Mason doesn't rip off the Odyssey. He riffs off of it. He takes the images, the characters, the scenarios, and reassembles them into these poignant, beguiling little vignettes that feel reminiscent of Cortazar and Borges but still manage to be completely his own. There's tons of books out there which try to re-tell or rehash classical works. Most of them suck. This book actually enriched my understanding of Homer's Odyssey, it brought out all that was strange, mesmerizing a [...]

    15. This book confirmed for me why it's probably a good thing that Borges never attempted, to my knowledge, to write a novel. What works so splendidly in individual short stories -- the cool tone, provocative ideas combined with fascinating detail -- would've become tiresome over the course of a novel. And that's exactly what happened as I progressed through Mason's book. I was quite delighted, even enchanted in the beginning, but then grew weary of the clever gamesmanship for its own sake. That I c [...]

    16. the lost books of the odyssey is really a collection of very short "what-if" stories that share as a common thread the homeric hero, odysseus, and his adventures. it doesn't read like a novel to me despite the insistence of the title: there's not really a unified plot but rather thematically-connected stories that shift back and forth in time, and reconsider the same moments in the familiar cycle (not only touching on his adventures in the odyssey, but playing on the trojan war as well, even shu [...]

    17. From the interviews I've read and heard with Zachary Mason, he's irresistible. A child Computer Science prodigy who bounced around Silicon Valley start ups with a lyrical, experimental novel brewing all the while? Sign me up. I love those polymathic types.The book doesn't disappoint, as long as you go in with an open mind. It's a long series of imaginative snapshots of the Odyssey, most from wildly unorthodox perspectives. What makes Odysseus so different from his other heroic peers is that he g [...]

    18. As I read along I felt something was "off" but I could not put my finger on exactly what was giving me the sensation. After finishing, I was informed by the back inside cover that the author was a "computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence." Artificial Intelligence--Boom. Nailed it. First, the book is well written. The author's intelligence and knowledge of the original material shows in his work. To undertake creating a work such as this is no doubt an immense, intimidating tas [...]

    19. What an unusual, fabulous, haunting book this is! Can't say that I have ever read anything remotely like it. A wonderful feat of imagination and literary syncretism. Having experienced these forty-four short tales, I will never again be able to think of certain aspects of Homer in quite the same ways.

    20. Unexpectedly gorgeous. I say "unexpected" because this is the type of book that could so easily come across as pretentious, overwhelmed by its author's egot it was beautifully told, with luminous detail and oddly compelling, heavily intellectual creativity.I don't know why I expected to be annoyed by the writing. Perhaps it's because the description and introduction made it sound like a McSweeney's article-turned-book, whichankly, is not at all an appealing prospect for me. I'm only noting this [...]

    21. The influence of Borges on this delicious book is huge. Several of the stories are pure perfection and will be difficult to forget, many are excellent, other are just ok. Overall, given my love for both Homer and Borges, I enjoyed this fantastic collection of homeric tales a lot.

    22. In this collection of 44 short stories (the book is subtitled 'A Novel', but doesn't read like one) Zachary Mason holds a fun-house mirror up to the Odyssey, giving us a selection of alternate tellings of the familiar tales and accounts for the genesis of the story that range from the pragmatic (Odysseus is not a hero but a coward, who at the end of the war disguises himself as a bard and slowly builds up his own myth) to the fantastical (the Odyssey is actually the gods' playbook for the Trojan [...]

    23. The Lost Books of The Odyssey by Zachary Mason is a series of 44 short chapters, some of which are loosely based on Homer’s The Odyssey and some of which are creative re-imaginings, scenarios, and “what-ifs” that are so far removed from the Homeric poem they’re no longer recognizable as off-shoots from the original. I approached the novel expecting a re-telling of The Odyssey, so I got slightly irritated every time Mason deviated substantially from the original. But to be fair to the aut [...]

    24. The author has done an excellent job in his take on the Iliad and Odyssey [mostly the Odyssey]. He feels that the Odyssey that has come down to us is not complete and he's discovered 'lost books'. Well, I'd more accurately call them vignettes or sketches; each is from only 1 page to 6 pages long. Each one gives an unusual twist to an episode from the Odyssey. The whole work is analogous to a piece of music: Odysseus is the connecting theme, or link; and each vignette is a variation on one of the [...]

    25. this is my second read of this book, and it's just as wonderful as the first's not really written as a novel, though, despite the subtitle. it's written as a series of short stories, or meditations, or just beautifully-drawn word pictures. my impression of the book overall is that it's like a year of dreams, all based on the Iliad or the Odyssey; each night, something a little different, remembered in greater or lesser detail.you get the story of the cyclops; how things might look if Penelope ha [...]

    26. To repeat the assessment I made on tumblr, "You're drunk on Borges and Calvino, go home." The stories are very self-consciously clever and more often than not, are trite and repetitive. The repetitiveness is particularly disappointing because there's so much for Mason to draw on in Homer. The triteness - well, I wasn't exactly expecting anything close to the level of 'The House of Asterion' so I wasn't too let down, but still. Oh well. The stories were entertaining enough to keep me reading. The [...]

    27. Muhteşem bir kitap, çok ama çok şaşırdım ve çok beğendim. Amerikalı bir Borges yazmış sanki. Her bölüm bitişinde bir nefes alıyor ve geçmişi düşünüyorum, efsaneleri, güçlü ve güçsüz insanları, kahramanları ve edebiyatın sonsuz oluşunu Bu kitap başka kitapları da düşünmeye itiyor. Bunu da öyle güzel ve öyle usulca yapıyor ki bazı yerlerde kendi kişisel okuma serüvenimle ilgili yeni şeyler öğrendim ve ağzım açık kaldı. Mesela daha ilk bölümlerd [...]

    28. I wish there were a way of giving this books 3.5 stars-- 4 seems just a bit too high, but I liked it more than a measly 3. Since I'm feeling expansive, and since it's pretty impressive for a first novel, I'll round up. I started this immediately upon finishing the Odyssey (literally: I finished listening to Derek Jacobi reading Homer, then clicked over to this one waiting on my iPod), and it was the perfect coda to my self-imposed little project of catching up on the epics. One of the most pleas [...]

    29. The phrase "underground classic" annoys the hell out of me, but this book might become one. Published by the small, Buffalo-based Starcherone Press (and winner of its most recent national fiction prize), ODYSSEY mixes a pseudo-academic framing story a la Borges with wonderfully imaginative views of Odysseus the character. I'll be writing a full review of this one soon for somebody (and will update this when I find out where), so I want to save my words. The only thing that keeps me from going ec [...]

    30. Forty-four riffs on characters, events, and themes from Homer, mostly, and from Greek mythology in general. At times these pieces are reminiscent of Borges and Calvino—but the biggest kinship here, I think, is to Steven Millhauser and his elegant, arch fictional thought experiments. This is high-end fan fiction that imagines alternate scenarios: what if Odysseus returned home to find Penelope remarried? ruling Ithaca herself with an iron fist? What if she were one of the shades he met in the H [...]

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