Book Review: The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood (2005)

June 18th, 2012 12:34 pm by mad mags

Odysseus, what a jerkface weltkarte herunterladen!

five out of five stars

Aptly named, The Penelopiad is a feminist retelling of The Odyssey and The Iliad, as only Margaret Atwood could imagine it.* Narrated by Odysseus’s long-suffering wife Penelope, the events in Homer’s epics are reexamined from her perspective herunterladen. Now residing in modern-day Hades, Penelope tells of her early life; her “courtship” by Odysseus (read: being won in a contest like so much livestock, after which time the winner’s spoils, bride included, was quickly whisked away to Odysseus’s own kingdom); the hardships she endured while her husband was off fighting the Trojan war and then making his way home; and ending with his fatal, bloody return, which culminated in the deaths of Penelope’s twelve maids stream videos herunterladen firefox. Among their crimes? Allowing themselves to be raped by Penelope’s suitors. Penelope’s accounts are interspersed with occasional choral interludes from the doomed maids – who, like their mistress, cannot be silenced, even in death from deezer.

Even if your knowledge of The Odyssey begins and ends with 10th grade English class (guilty as charged!), there’s still much to enjoy in The Penelopiad herunterladen. (Though the greater your background, the more improved your reading.) A novella, The Penelopiad is a disappointingly slim volume – my paperback copy weighs in at just 193 pages, with generous margins videos downloaden youtube legal. Given the heft of the source material, I wish Atwood’s retelling was bit longer. For example, the years of the Trojan war – when Penelope was managing Odysseus’s kingdom on her own, at a time when it was unusual for women to do so – was glossed over in just a few pages kik herunterladen. It would have been nice to visit Penelope during this period in her life, to see how she “done the impossible,” so to speak. (Any Browncoats in the house?)

Ditto: the maids separation of goods free of charge. Maligned as they were by Odysseus and his son Telemachus, they deserve more of a voice than they were afforded.

While I’m tempted to deduct one start for brevity, I can’t seem to bring myself to do so herunterladen. The Penelopiad has quickly become one of my favorite Atwood books, right behind the Mad Adam trilogy (to be fair, I’d rather the author spend her limited time working on the third installation, as opposed to a longer version of The Penelopiad!) and The Handmaid’s Tale diskpart herunterladen. After suffering through both The Odyssey and The Iliad in high school, I hope more teachers add The Penelopiad to their course outline. Had women’s perspectives been more prominently featured, I might have taken a greater interest in some of these “classics.”

* Though it’s interesting to note that Atwood herself doesn’t consider The Penelopiad “feminist”: “I wouldn’t even call it feminist. Every time you write something from the point of view of a woman, people say that it’s feminist.” Touché, Margaret!

(This review is also posted on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote me helpful if you think it so!)

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3 Responses to “Book Review: The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood (2005)”

  1. Heather Says:

    Helpful review!

    Do you have any idea when the third book of the Mad Adam Trilogy will come out?

  2. Kelly Garbato Says:

    No! No idea!

    Probably not any time soon; in an October 2011 interview, Atwood said that she was up to page 80 – and this was after at least a year of writing, I think.

  3. Book Review: The Panem Companion, V. Arrow (2012) » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] journey in the Odyssey and the Iliad (Finnick; though he’s a much kinder, cuddlier hero than that jerkface Odysseus). Evocative of antebellum “slave songs,” American folk music is also important to the […]

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