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An Odyssey

Ulysse et Télémaque Massacrent les Prétendants de Pénélope by Thomas Degeorge (1812)

The Odyssey is the epic tale of a hero's return home. It's also about a man's journey through life, from youth to old age. That reading, and a Mediterranean cruise, helped classicist Daniel Mendelsohn develop a deeper relationship with his aging father.

RadioWest divider.

Wednesday, we’re talking about the Odyssey, Homer’s tale of a man’s long journey home. But as the classicist Daniel Mendelsohn says, the hero’s return to Ithaca isn’t the only voyage in which the Odyssey is interested. It’s also about the journey a man takes through life, from birth to death. That underlying theme, and a related Mediterranean cruise, helped Mendelsohn and his father grow closer than they’d ever been. Mendelsohn joins us Wednesday to talk about reading and reliving an epic.


Daniel Mendelsohn is an author, a critic, and a the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College. His new book is called An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible].