Diana is in a book club at school, which essentially seems to mean that they put kids in groups of three or four and give them a book to read. And this book club was supposed to be based on what you really like, in terms of books. Diana said she really liked fantasy books. And so she got placed in the book club in which they are reading…The Odyssey?
I am confused (but then again, I am often confused). Is it because it's epic? Or because there are Gods involved? Or am I just not getting it and the rest of you are nodding your heads and saying, "Oh yeah, sure, uh huh, The Odyssey, that totally makes sense for fantasy fans." Because I don't think of it as fantasy at all, not even classy fantasy. I just…don't.
And then this: I said, "Do you like it?" Because, you know, I wanted her to like it so I could walk around bragging about her sophisticated tastes. This is the person I have become, which is too bad. But it's all moot becuase she said, "No."
"No? You don't like it?"
"But what about the wine-dark sea?"
And she had no idea what I was talking about. It turns out they are reading a prose translation, that for some reason doesn't mention the wine-dark sea. It does talk about rosy-fingered dawn, for what that's worth, but…again, what?
I am confused by translating it into prose. (Also I have a cold—can you tell? That may explain the overall sense of dimness that pervades this post.) I think they figure that kids will want to read it more if it's in prose?
Except now they have a bunch of kids who like fantasy books reading a prose version of The Odyssey.
The other kids—all boys, if that is in any way significant—all love it. Some of them are reading it (though I don't know if it's the same version or translation or anything) for the second or third time. But Diana is holding fast to her resistance (it's quite the thing to have a daughter who is almost 14), and I am on the couch with a box of tissues trying to figure it all out, including my own (let's be honest) less-than-full-hearted adoration for The Odyssey.
Maybe that's the way out of the forest: I should reread it, right? And then I will understand everything. Is that how life works? I seem to have forgotten.