Homer to Walcott
How to Prepare for Class
1. Read with care. If you read ahead before getting to Santa Fe, please reread.
You should find the Lombardo translation of Homer very easy to read. We will read for plot, characters, themes, metaphors, and motifs. Close reading will be de-emphasized because we are not reading this work in the original Greek, but we will spend time on Homer's epic similes. I still expect you to pay close attention to the details of the text, which serves as a foundation for the rest of the course.
2. Be prepared to volunteer to summarize what happens in the story, who the major and peripheral figures are, which passages and scenes seem especially important, and what remains opaque or confusing. I promise you, these apparently easy tasks will become increasingly central to our basic challenge of reading for comprehension when we tackle Joyce and Walcott.
3. Consider these specific problems:
1) How do people know who they are in this fictional world? 
2) How do characters know themselves? How are they known by others?
3) What roles do the characters inhabit?
4) Who helps and who hinders?
5) Do the generalizations you have created in response to these questions work for characters other than Telemachus?
6) What is valued in this fictional world? (how can we tell?)
7)What is disliked or abhorred?
8) What is neglected or omitted?
 It is also an historical world, but we are not going to study the art, archaeology, history, and context of Homer's work in this course.
Back to Ulysses syllabus.