Vico

Invisible Homer

Q: The Lost Books of the Odyssey seems to function less like a traditional Homeric epic and more like a sort of post-modern self-contained literary universe. Can you explain?

A: Post-modernism dates back to pre-antiquity. Recall that Achilles's shield is embossed with an extremely intricate image that depicts, among many other things, Achilles's shield. And in the Aeneid, Aeneas goes to Carthage and finds an ancient temple carved with a frieze depicting the events of the Trojan war that was then still winding down. Nihil sub sole novum.

Q: My institution's library has an extensive collection of reproductions of original Greek manuscripts, but we don't have the Lost Books. Why?

A: The sole extant copy of the Lost Books is in the British Museum (probably. See below.) In the tradition of that venerable, august and under-funded institution, they disseminate even vital scholarly work more or less as the spirit moves them. For this reason the best way to examine the original manuscript (of a copy of a copy) of the Lost Books is (or rather, was) to go
to London.

If you like Italo Calvino or Homer or postmodernism or priceless antique manuscripts which have mysteriously vanished and are only available in translation, you have probably already clicked on the link above and are not even reading this. If not, what are you waiting for? It's gorgeous.
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