Sunday, September 18, 2011
Week 38: Who Killed Homer?
Who Killed Homer? by Victor Davis Hansen and John Heath
I wish I owned this book; it would go on my list of books that I like to re-read every few years (Women's Work: the First 20,000 Years, The Discarded Image, and Going Solo are some of the others). Hansen and Heath lament the decline of Classics as a field of study, asserting that the whole field has become too elitist and self-focused, and everyone really ought to be working on giving the world reasons to read Homer & co. and ponder the lessons of the Greeks. Most of the interesting parts of the book focus on why we should all read Homer; the bits about how to reform Classics departments are skimmable if you're not really interested.
They never fail to convince me that I should read more Sophocles, and now I'm kind of thinking of doing a Greek Classics challenge in the new year. Yay, another project no one will be interested in! That's the sort of thing I always come up with. But if you're interested, comment and at least I'll know I'm not totally alone.