The stories of the Trojan war and Helen of Troy, Patroclus and Achilles, the Sirens and the Cyclops are embedded in western culture, yet readers often fail to recognise that they were made famous by two epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, and one blind poet: Homer.
Alberto Manguel begins his book with the poems' inception in ancient Greece and demonstrates how these poems have reverberated subsequently through the western canon, from the Rome of Virgil and Horace to Joyce's Dublin and Derek Walcott's Caribbean, via Dante and Racine. In this lyrical and graceful short volume, Manguel delights in the original poems and celebrates their presence throughout history.
Alberto Manguel is a world-renowned writer, translator and editor of literary anthologies. His works include A History of Reading, published in 1997 and his novel, Stevenson Under the Palm Trees, published in 2005.