NY Times review of Edith Hall: The return of Ulysses

From the New York Times

Is there anything in the Western literary canon with more abundant, potent or frolicsome offspring than Homer’s “Odyssey”? Clearly not, to judge by “The Return of Ulysses,” Edith Hall’s enlightening and entertaining cultural history. Virgil, Monteverdi, James Joyce, Nikos Kazantzakis, Ralph Ellison and Derek Walcott are just a few of the artists to have transformed this spellbinding and mysterious epic into powerful works of their own. But while Hall doesn’t scant such noble descendants, nor Homer’s determinant role in ancient Greek and Roman culture, she is at least as enthusiastic at tracking Odysseus-­Ulysses, the Man of Many Ways, down many a less-traveled path: the “Odyssey” is, after all, she says, “an ancestral text” for “historians, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, occult magicians, novelists, science-fiction writers, biographers, autobiographers, movie directors and composers of opera.” (And don’t forget magic realists.)

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