The Odyssey, books 11-24

Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey is unsentimental. Her language is poetic but straightforward, and never prettified. It's unsparing about the violence and moral ambiguities in Homer's poem, and not surprisingly, reading it is an emotional experience. This happens often in the space of one line, or just in single word of double meaning, as … Continue reading The Odyssey, books 11-24

Les Misérables – atheism and faith

Alban Krailsheimer once wrote that Christianity was oddly missing as a subject in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris (aka, The Hunchback of Notre Dame). And I agree: that novel can seem like a merely secular story about a Christian cathedral. Les Misérables, by contrast, opens immediately with Christianity as a subject: its entire first … Continue reading Les Misérables – atheism and faith

Les Misérables – guillotine and cross

I've started reading Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, and it's such a long novel that I'm going to start sharing partial impressions and thoughts as I go along. Victor Hugo was a lifelong opponent of the death penalty, which you may guess from the following passage in Le Miz: There is something nightmarish about the scaffold … Continue reading Les Misérables – guillotine and cross

Carol Newsom podcast on the Book of Job

The Two Testaments finished its podcast-tour through the Book of Job recently with a discussion focused on Job's concluding words and the epilogue: Job 42 (Job's Response and Epilogue) with Carol Newsom. The podcast is hosted at The Two Testaments, and it's available at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nmfpbCSEQc Carol Newsom is the author of The Book of … Continue reading Carol Newsom podcast on the Book of Job