Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GoodWill Reading

I went to Goodwill (not sure of those are nationwide... it's a sort of thrift store that benefits disabled people) the other day for some books.

I don't like thrift stores generally, because they all seem to have that same smell. After much reflection and searching, I think I narrowed it down to what it is: Despair mixed with Loss of Dignity.

But, at Goodwill, they do have plenty of good, cheap books. I got several, including "Farewell to Arms," "East of Eden" (No, I don't live and die by what Oprah says -- I just like Steinbeck), "Route 66," a history of the highway by Michael Wallis, and a translation of "The Odyssey."

I decided to read the Odyssey first. The translation looked pretty good: nice, easy reading, good flow. But - and this is the big mistake - I read the introduction first. As usual, this introduction was written by some professor who lives and dies by some obscure subject.

Here's what ticked me off: He goes on and on and on about the histoircal setting, origins of the story, etc., and then he diverts to problems with the story. He talks about how some problems of uncharacteristic action by some of the regulars point to it being not by Homer. He give plenty of examples, five total. I read the introduction, and think "Wow, those do seem like pretty egregious examples. Those'll jump right out at me now."

I don't care about that claim. What I do care about is this line: "Three points must be made. 1. No one ever notices these problems except when they are pointed out..."

Well then, thanks for pointing them out.

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