What Do I Read Next?
- The Iliad is the other epic poem written by Homer and it tells some of the events of the Trojan War which take place before the opening of the Odyssey. The best translations into English are those of Lattimore (Harper & Row, 1967) and Fagles (Viking, 1996).
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem Ulysses takes a look at Odysseus in later life and is generally regarded as one of the better examples of English Romantic verse. He also wrote The Lotus-Eaters, focusing on a specific incident from Book 9 of the Odyssey.
- Nikos Kazantzakis (author of, among other works, The Last Temptation of Christ) wrote his Odyssey in 1938. In this work, Odysseus is presented as a dissatisfied and wandering man who leaves home, kidnaps Helen, and travels all across the known world—part of the way on an iceberg.
- Perhaps the best-known related work in English is James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses, which was very nearly banned in the United States when it was originally published. Joyce's work depicts scenes and events from everyday life in the dramatic framework of the Odyssey. For example, the Circe episode from Homer's work is portrayed as an extended romp in a brothel.
- For a factual look at the life of Heinrich Schliemann, the German businessman/ archaeologist who first excavated Troy, Mycenae, and several other Homeric sites (including several on the island of Ithaca), David A. Traill's Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit (St. Martin's Press, 1995) is a commendable critical biography.