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The Odyssey

Alex Epstein
This daring and ambitious novel tells the story of Odysseus’ journey to his home in Itaca from a different viewpoint: that of the storytellers. Epstein relates the story in several voices: the voice of Odysseus, the voice of an old sailor and the voice of the super-narrator who hovers over the plot and employs comic language that is rich in imagery. The manner in which Epstein has chosen to present the classic plot enables him to penetrate the minds of his mythical heroes and to deconstruct the myth itself. The mythological Calypso is offended and jealous; Odysseus weeps and fumes; the sailors drink wine and spin yarns - until it seems as if we are faced with familiar, live, flesh-and-blood characters who occasionally express themselves in contemporary slang. Epstein, the super-narrator, often inserts himself into the narrative and succeeds in planting sharp, often amusing comments that also contribute a contemporary relevance to the ancient story. Epstein’s imagination is boundless, and he excels at constructing a plot, creating an atmosphere and describing the emotional world of his characters. Although there are many allusions to writers, poets and works - such as Borges, Cervantes, and Amichai - that have influenced him, the author adheres to the outline of Homer’s plot and to the various stages of the Homerian Odyssey. He respects the original material but also jounces it, transforming the ancient tale into a relevant modern story, dealing seriously with such eternal values as loyalty, respect for human dignity and striving for a goal. It is the observance of these values the enables the hero to return to his previous life: to his family and his homeland.

Title The Odyssey
Author’s Last Name Epstein
Author's First Name Alex
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2001
No. Pages 282 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Odiseʹa
Representation Represented by ITHL


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