Odyssey XI, Madingley Hall 18-20 February

Evidence of study

This time I was determined not to lose my return ticket or my glasses or to catch a cold, and I just about managed it, though my very nice taxi driver did manage to miss the Madingley turning on the drive from the station, which ended up costing me some money…

The ten of us in our group had little difficulty in disposing of the 640 or so lines of Odyssey XI in the nine hours (6 x 1.5 hour sessions) available.  Elizabeth Warren our instructor described us as well-prepared and eager to share our views.  She also produced a photo of her husband holding a winnowing-fan to show how it might be confounded with an oar (or rather, the other way round).

Cambridge. February.

Peter Jones gave a talk on the Saturday evening.  After treating us to an imitation of ‘dear old Enoch’ Powell as part of his mission to bring classics to the masses, he said that a certain number of lines in Od. XI didn’t make sense, and furthermore there were large-scale errors in composition.  Tiresias never did tell Odysseus how to get home, and it looked as though a catalogue of Theban women had been inserted for no reason.  Odysseus had gone from summoning the spirits of the dead to travelling through the underworld without any explanation, and the suddenly cut and run at the very thought of a Gorgon’s head.

In the taxi back to the station, I had an interesting talk with a young woman who had been doing Forensic Facial Reconstruction and felt it would be practically useful to her in her future career.

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