|Odyssey Chats at Fabularum Bibliotheca
First Chat transcript: Books 1-8, Oct. 18, 1998, led by Torrey Philemon
Second Chat transcript: Books
1-12, Oct. 24, led by Asterix
Third Chat transcript: Books
9-12,. Sunday Nov. 1, led by Torrey Philemon
Fourth Chat transcript: Books 13 -
16 Sunday Nov. 8, led by Maia Nestor
Fifth Chat: transcript:
Books 17-20 Sunday Nov. 15, led by Torrey Philemon
Sixth Chat: transcript:
Books 21-24 Sunday Nov. 22, led by Torrey Philemon
12:37 diopan Nestor enters...
12:51 Theseus dArtistides enters...
12:54 Petra Stuyvesant enters...
12:55 Theseus Artistides: Hi
Petra and diopan!
12:56 Petra Stuyvesant:
Hello! Thank you for posting, couldn't tell if my screen was working :^)
12:56 Aurora Inca enters...
12:56 Theseus Artistides:
Actually, I half did that to make sure mine was working. Hi Aurora!
Inca: Hello! I'm glad AS came back in time for us!
12:57 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello
Aurora, Happy Belated Birthday!
12:57 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, I was
worried yesterday that we would not be able to hold this chat
Inca: Thank you Petra, actually early birthday. It's this coming Thurs.
12:58 Petra Stuyvesant: Well, you
know "Iguana" wish you a happy one :^)
12:58 Theseus Artistides: Ah,
there were problems yesterday, too? I thought it was just this morning.
12:59 Torrey Philemon enters...
12:59 Aurora Inca enters...
12:59 Petra Stuyvesant: I tried to
log on for two hours yesterday afternoon.
12:59 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello
Inca: That was so cute, Petra. I have to remember that one for my nephew's b-day this
12:59 Torrey Philemon: Hello all. I
thought the site was down. I've been unable to get into A.S. for almost 24 hours.
Inca: It went down when I was in the middle of a post yesterday. Had to rely on ICQ
for my social life!
13:00 Torrey Philemon: Are you all
ready to begin?
13:00 Petra Stuyvesant: It was
down Torrey, we should thank the Gods that we are able to chat, perhaps Athene is our muse
13:00 Theseus Artistides:
Torrey's here! Now we can get down! ...to business!
Inca: Well, once again I'm behind in my reading, but I know the story.....
13:02 Torrey Philemon: How about
everyone introducing themselves, saying what translation they've been reading, and if
there's anything in particular they want to discuss.
Inca: I'm not sure which translation. I'm redecorating and my book must be buried! But
it is a prose translation.
13:03 diopan Nestor enters...
13:03 Theseus Artistides:
Hi! I've been reading Samuel Butler's translation (because I already had it), and
I'm delighted to follow along and see what develops.
Inca: (Aurora is very disorganized today, sorry)
13:04 adria Lucretius enters...
13:04 Petra Stuyvesant: I am a
first time Odyssey reader and I have mainly been reading the Fitzgerald translation (and
accompanying guide book) with occasional peeks at the TE Lawernce translation which is not
poetic but explains things ina more practicle way.
13:04 Torrey Philemon: Diopan,
we're introducing ourselves, mentioning the translation we're reading, and antyhing we
want to discuss.
Inca: Petra, I am envious! To be experiencing the Odyssey for the first time!
13:05 Petra Stuyvesant: I am
intersted in the customs of the times that influence the actions of the characters
13:05 Torrey Philemon: I'm reading
the Fagles translation and really like it. It's great that we have different translations
13:05 Theseus Artistides:
Actually, I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but this is my first time too.
13:05 diopan Nestor: Hi I read the
Hebrew translation and the Loeb edition can't remember who the translator is.
Inca: (still looking frantically for my book)
13:06 Petra Stuyvesant: It's hard
for me reading something so dense for the first time. My incliation is to dissect
every sentence but I have to force myself to keep going in order to absorb the whole story
13:06 Torrey Philemon: Don't panic,
Aurora. You don't have to find it now!
13:07 Theseus Artistides: I've
just been reading it as an adventure story, myself.
13:07 Torrey Philemon: Petra
mentioned one topic. Any other topics anyone wants to address?
13:07 Petronilla Livius enters...
13:08 Petra Stuyvesant: It is very
grusome and gory in parts, lots of adventure!
13:08 diopan Nestor: I'm mostly
interested in the gods function in the story and been searching for the Nymphs and their
relations with Odysseus.
Inca: I guess I've already ready mentioned that I'm into archetypal interp.
13:08 Theseus Artistides: Oh,
Torrey, you know you have a whole pile of topics there under your hat! *grin*
13:09 Torrey Philemon: I just want
to find out what most of you are interested in. I stayed up all night creating a web page
on the meaning of Odysseus and Calypso, so that should be up your alley, diopan.
13:10 Torrey Philemon: It's at http://www.webwinds.com/thalassa/calypso.htm
(look later) because I couldn't upload to A.S. (NOTE: moved to http://www.ancientsites.com/~Torrey_Philemon/odyssey/calypso.htm)
13:10 Petra Stuyvesant: Calypso
fascinates me to I know women like her now - they do not have her power as a godess but
they seem to have the same motives
13:10 diopan Nestor: seems like
that,I will probably check it out later
13:11 Theseus Artistides: How
would you describe Calypso's motives, Petra?
13:13 Petra Stuyvesant: Lonliness
mostly that causes her to corrupt her powers - try to hold onto a man who obivously loves
his wife, family, and home. If you love someone you would want them to be happy, she
obviously has her own happiness at the center of her world.
13:13 Torrey Philemon: Petra?
13:14 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes,
13:14 Torrey Philemon: If you've
been alone a long time as she has, you can be a lot more needy! (I was waiting for your
answer, Petra. Our posts crossed!)
13:14 Theseus Artistides: I
agree with you Petra. She acts in this manner, despite the fact that Odysseus will
clearly not be happy with her, and therefore ultimately she will not be happy with him.
13:15 Theseus Artistides: There
ARE a lot of people like that, of both sexes.
Inca: And Odysseus was obviously one of the finest men to come her way. She didn't
want just anybody, ore she would have kept one of her "pigs"
13:15 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes I
agree, but she was taking advantage of him to fulfill an emptyness in herself
13:15 Torrey Philemon: Clinging to
someone who doesn't love you...that's a common neurosis.
13:16 Theseus Artistides: I
think that's Circe, Aurora, later in the book.
Inca: Oops. You're right, sorry. I really need my book!
Inca: He does seem to run into that type a lot though, doesn't he?
13:17 Petra Stuyvesant: I think
there are certain parallels between Circe and Calypso
13:17 Theseus Artistides: To
what degree is Calypso keeping Odysseus, and how much of it is due to his fear of
13:17 Torrey Philemon: You mean
Theseus, to what degree is Odysseus choosing to stay?
13:18 Petra Stuyvesant: I dont
think O. knew how to build a raft or other way to get off the island until Calypso
informed him about the dry timber.
13:18 Theseus Artistides: Oh,
now we can't get into Circe too much! I haven't gotten that far!
Inca: I can't remember, does he long to return the whole time? Or does it just get
stronger just before he is allowed to leave?
13:19 Torrey Philemon: I read an
interpretation that after years of being supermale and surrounded by men, Odysseus was
swallowed by the feminine...part of his own integration.
13:19 Petra Stuyvesant: As I
understand it he weeps every day for his home and that he is somehow bewitched every night
to sleep with C.
13:19 Petra Stuyvesant: That's
good Torrey! I like that.
13:20 Torrey Philemon: My
impression is that it is in the last year, the 7th year, he weeps a lot and wants to
return. Before that, we don't know.
Inca: He wouldn't be much fun to have around then, would he?
13:21 Torrey Philemon: It sounds to
me like a lot of delayed grieving...after losing all his companions, in the war then
afterwards....He was finally melting.
13:21 Theseus Artistides: Is it
good? I don't follow it completely.
Inca: I think if he REALLY wanted to leave, he would have. The wily Odysseus could get
away from a little ol' nymph if he could outwit the Trojans, a cyclops, etc., except that
those WERE all male.
13:22 Torrey Philemon: I bet most
of us at some point in our lives have been in relationships in which we know we needed to
leave but were still hooked and couldn't make the move...
13:23 Caenus Didius enters...
Inca: Right, Torrey. The move can't be made until someone is FULLY ready to leave.
13:24 Theseus Artistides: I
certainly have been there. And I don't get the impression Calypso was exactly hard
to live with.
13:25 Torrey Philemon: Welcome
Caenus...and Petronilla, if you're still there...Feel free to join in. We're talking about
O and Calypso now.
13:25 Caenus Didius exits...
Inca: I just thought of this: Could his stay with Calypso be kind of like the ritual
isolation that some cultures have when one is being initiated into a new role? He is
making a big move from warrior back to "family man"
13:25 Torrey Philemon: But Odysseus
was used to being a man of action. What kind of challenges did he have now? How could he
fully be a male when he was under Calypso's thumb?
13:26 Torrey Philemon: Nice point,
13:26 Petra Stuyvesant: He might
have felt indebted to her for saving him from death. She felt that the God's were
jealous of her relationship with a mortal--didn't see that she did not have the right to
hold a man against his will.
13:26 diopan Nestor: In a way he is
afraid of C. herself since he says that he won't leave without her permision and
practiclly makes her swear her good will
13:27 Torrey Philemon: Right. He
finds her devious and manipulative (females aren't portrayed very well, are they?)
13:28 Theseus Artistides: She is
a goddess, doesn't that give her the right to keep a mortal man against his will, all
other things being equal, which they weren't?
13:29 Torrey Philemon: Odysseus has
been using force against others and triumphing. Now he's on the other side.
13:29 diopan Nestor: No! they could
either be under male 'protection' or they are the Circe/Calypso type.
Inca: It gives her the power to, I don't think it gives her the right. The gods often
13:30 Petra Stuyvesant: I think
that the word "Manipulative" is a word that starts out with the letters man
because a man invented it :^) I think that women did not have a lot of power in this
society, look how Penelope is left without any action taken by the "assemble" of
elders. She has to be manipulative it was her only strength.
13:30 Theseus Artistides: He
certainly can't be much of a man qua man under C's thumb. I think this is one of the
reasons the story is laid out in this manner. Imagine going through the rest of his
adventure and then have him spend seven years on an island...
13:31 Torrey Philemon:
MANipulative, great! I read somewhere that those with lesser power usually have to rely on
indirect means of asserting themselves.
13:31 Theseus Artistides: Very
Inca: Was Penelope manipulative, or "wily" like her mate?
13:32 Petra Stuyvesant: You are
very clever Torrey *grin*
13:32 Torrey Philemon: Do you all
like the fact that the story starts near the end? It would seem to me we would understand
more the significance of his time with Calypso if we knew about his other adventures
first. He was with her for SEVEN YEARS.
Inca: I see Penelope as the perfect female complement of Odysseus, unlike the other
females he met along his way.
13:33 Torrey Philemon: Because
she's wily too?
13:33 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes,
Aurora, when men are called these things it's a compliment, women an insult. I think
Penelope was in a difficult situation and was equal to O. in a lot of ways. If she
had failed him during his absence it would have crushed him emotionally I think
13:33 Theseus Artistides: By
right I mean "legal" authority to do so... Which I think in the Greek mentality
at the time was on C's side until some stronger god told her otherwise.
13:34 Torrey Philemon: Diopan
brought up the topic of the gods function in Odysseus. Do you all want to address that?
13:35 Petra Stuyvesant: I think
the story starts at a time of transition for Odysses. A sort of plateau 7 years
where he confirms that his home is the most important thing to him - his focus is made
13:35 Torrey Philemon: I mean in
13:35 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, the
Inca: 7 years does seem to be the point when one gets to wanting to make changes.
That's when most divorces and breakups happen, except for those that end at the very
13:36 Theseus Artistides:
Torrey, I think in regard to the plot of the story that it's important to remember that
Homer was primarily interested in delving deep into the story of Odysseus, looking for
eternal truths or even social commentary. He was trying to entertain. In this
regard, the structure of The Odyssey is genius!
Inca: And his listeners knew the story, so how he told it was the important thing. But
the first time I read it, it was hard for me to keep the timeline straight.
13:38 Theseus Artistides:
Oops! That should read "...Homer was not interested..."
13:39 Petra Stuyvesant: Also, he
starts Odyseus at the 1/2 way point. From Calypso's island on he really ios going
home. Up to this point he was being delayed/hindered by Posiedon
13:40 Torrey Philemon: Actually, I
think he really starts in about the last year of his journey, though I don't know how long
all his pre-Calpyso adventures took.
13:41 Petra Stuyvesant: Actually
Thesus, I think you might have been right with your typo - I don't think this story would
have help up for thousands of years if he hadn't hit on eternal truths
13:42 Petra Stuyvesant: oops I
meant "held up"
13:42 Torrey Philemon: It's typo
day. We're all doing it!
13:42 Torrey Philemon: To err is
human, to forgive is not divine (grin)
13:43 Theseus Artistides: I
think he did hit on these truths, but it wasn't his primary purpose.
Inca: Torrey - we still have the shakes from AS withdrawal, so we hit the wrong keys!
13:44 Petra Stuyvesant: Personally
I find the AS chat windows horrible! Jerky and I have to keep moving the scroll bar
down and then it pops back up again. I hope it will scroll sometime soon!
13:44 Petra Stuyvesant: But I
13:44 Theseus Artistides: I
agree! This chat window makes me crazy!
13:44 Torrey Philemon: I don't
think the refresh rate works here.
13:45 diopan Nestor: can I blame all
my spelling mistakes on that? ;-)
13:45 Torrey Philemon: Other
topics? The role of the gods, the influence of the customs of the times....?
13:46 Petra Stuyvesant: sure
diopan! Because it's hard to type and think and post at the same time, especially on
such interesting topics as these :^)
13:46 Petra Stuyvesant: I think
it's interesting that Athene choose to disguise her self as motals in order to influence
13:47 Petra Stuyvesant: Reminds me
of the bible quote about entertaining angles unawares
13:47 Torrey Philemon: Alexandros
Lupos keeps telegramming me. He can't find the chat room. (I think Calypso's held him up!)
13:47 Torrey Philemon: Entertaining
13:48 Torrey Philemon: So why do
the gods disguise themselves as mortals?
13:48 diopan Nestor: Where do you
think the gods had greater influence (I mean between Odyssey and Illiad)?
13:49 Petra Stuyvesant: I do
believe that there are powers in another dimension that assist us. The ancient
Greeks seemed to feel this way too, in modern times there is a resurgence in the belief
that angels or Saints or prophets assist us when asked.
13:49 Theseus Artistides: You
got me, on that disguise question.
Inca: Because its fun?
13:50 Theseus Artistides: LOL -
Now that I like, Aurora!
13:50 Torrey Philemon: Is maybe
their power too great? Like if you look at a god face to face, you turn to stone? Or like
looking at the sun, you go blind?
13:50 Petra Stuyvesant: I think it
a subtle or softer way for the Gods to assist us, while helpiong us maintain a sense of
Inca: I know that's kind of a flippant answer, but it seems to me Athene kind of
13:50 Petra Stuyvesant: that's
good, Aurora, FUN!
13:50 Petra Stuyvesant: perhaps it
was the Gods way to amuse themselves
13:51 Torrey Philemon: Nice point,
Petra....though I sometimes wonder if the gods really cared about man's free will...
13:51 Torrey Philemon: Well, we're
all appearing to other mortals in disguise here!
13:51 diopan Nestor: nice answer
Aurora... I think there is the problem of appearing in front of mortals 'as is'. Its there
in almost any religion.
13:51 Theseus Artistides: My son
just said, "She's right, we do it because it's fun."
Inca: I first read it as a teeneage girl, and it really intrigued me that Athene could
pop in and assist her favorite male, unknown to him, and go!
13:52 Petra Stuyvesant: I don't
remember where I read it but I think Athene says she can only assist where man makes the
13:52 Torrey Philemon: Was
Telemachus making an effort before Athena appeared to him? Or did she wake him up?
Inca: I think she was waking him up to his manhood and his manly resposibilities. He
acted as a boy before she appeared.
13:54 diopan Nestor: Petra - that
sound too familiar ;-)
Inca: And the suitors still treated him as a boy, until she started to advise him.
13:54 Petronilla Livius: And did
Telemachus respond better to a "man" than he would have to a female , even a
godess, since he had been raised by women.
13:54 Petra Stuyvesant: In my
translation Athene says she is going to put *more* courage into the son which leads me to
believe he was already contemplating action
13:55 diopan Nestor: oops, make that
13:55 Torrey Philemon: Yes,
Petronilla, he was needing a male role model or mentor.
Inca: Just like the boys us single moms are trying to raise!
13:56 Petra Stuyvesant: mentor -
mentes perhaps the name confirms what you are saying, Torrey
13:57 Torrey Philemon: (Folks, are
you all members of FB? Alexandros can't get in here. Maybe you have to be a member to see
the chat link)
13:57 Torrey Philemon: Hey, Petra,
that's great. Didn't think of that. Mentes as mentor.
Inca: I think that is where we get the word "mentor" from, actually
13:57 Petra Stuyvesant: I am a
member of FB
13:58 Petronilla Livius: Member
Inca: Torrey, I think you do have to be a member. That's one of the points to a
13:58 diopan Nestor: I'm a member
13:58 Theseus Artistides: Member
here. And my translation calls him Mentor!
Inca: If you ever go in the main caht, you'll know what I mean.....
13:59 Petra Stuyvesant: That's
very interesting Thesus
Inca: Mine also calls him Mentor
13:59 diopan Nestor: Sorry folks have
to go. See you next time (next books). by the way when is it?
14:00 Torrey Philemon: Asterix says
the next chat is on the 24th which is next Saturday. We'll post the time. That's only six
days away for the next 8 books.
14:01 Asterix Flavius enters...
14:01 Torrey Philemon: Though
perhaps we could limit it to only books 9-12, since they're so rich...and do 4 chats.
Inca: I would like that Torrey
14:01 Torrey Philemon: Welcome
Asterix. Someone just asked about the time of the next chat.
14:01 Petra Stuyvesant: Bye
diopan, nice to meet you
14:01 diopan Nestor: Thanks. see you
14:01 diopan Nestor exits...
14:02 Torrey Philemon: Thanks for
14:02 Petra Stuyvesant: I can't be
here next Saturday. How do I access the transcript of the chat?
14:03 Torrey Philemon: There's a
transcript link in this room, Petra. You should see it on top left. I'll also post it
elsewhere as well. (We're not ending now though)
14:03 Theseus Artistides: Now
that is a great question, Petra.
continue to page two