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The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

por Margaret Atwood

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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5,8652561,703 (3.62)8 / 534
Now that I'm dead I know everything - The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus retold on audio. Margaret Atwood gives Penelope a modern and witty voice to tell her side of the story, and set the record straight for good.
Adicionado recentemente porKriRand70, darthjuno, JenTheRevelator, melmtp, blssdlullaby, biblioteca privada, Ordinary2334, maryriii
  1. 120
    Lavinia por Ursula K. Le Guin (rarm)
  2. 70
    The Lost Books of The Odyssey por Zachary Mason (alalba, jeanned)
    alalba: Both books offer alternative versions of the Odyssey.
  3. 50
    Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles por Jeanette Winterson (nperrin)
  4. 40
    Medea por Christa Wolf (spiphany)
  5. 40
    Circe por Madeline Miller (AaronPt)
  6. 41
    Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold por C. S. Lewis (AnnaClaire)
    AnnaClaire: A different author retelling a different myth, but they still seem to fit together nicely.
  7. 30
    Black Ships por Jo Graham (ryvre)
  8. 30
    The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel por Nikos Kazantzakis (SilentInAWay)
    SilentInAWay: Picks up where the Penelopiad leaves off...
  9. 53
    Mythology por Edith Hamilton (sibyllacumaea)
  10. 20
    The Songs of the Kings por Barry Unsworth (smithal)
    smithal: Unsworth has a bitterly satiric, debunking approach to the Illiad story, which readers who enjoyed the Penelopiad should appreciate.
  11. 10
    Achilles por Elizabeth Cook (Booksloth)
  12. 10
    Eine ganz gewöhnliche Ehe. Odysseus und Penelope. Roman por Inge Merkel (spiphany)
  13. 10
    Sita's Ramayana por Samhita Arni (eclecticdodo)
    eclecticdodo: both books are retellings of traditional tales, from the woman's perspective, challenging traditional gender roles
  14. 00
    The Silence of the Girls por Pat Barker (KayCliff)
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Inglês (248)  Italiano (2)  Holandês (2)  Alemão (1)  Dinamarquês (1)  Francês (1)  Todas as línguas (255)
Mostrando 1-5 de 255 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Strong concept but the story feels more like a description of the concept than a story in itself. ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
DNF at 70%

I cannot believe I am DNFing this! I am just so painfully bored and underwhelmed, which is truly tragic because I love all the ingredients here, but this is a spiceless dish.

Let me be explicit. I thoroughly enjoy Atwood's writing. I love Helenistic myth. I adore feminist retellings. I think the project is a wonderful and important and worthwhile endeavour. This one just doesn't do it for me.

I don't know if I've been spoilt by other retellings and stories from marginalised creators, but I just didn't get anything more out of the book itself than the very good premise. And this is Margaret Atwood doing Peneolpe's perspective of the Odyssey, but it's just fine, very light and one note on the feminism when there is a whole lot more to say, particularly with the handmaidens as many others have pointed out, as well as it not being very sex positive or sympathetic to the plight of slaves - which wouldn't be as big a deal of this wasn't a feminist retelling and technically being told from a modern time with Peneolpe reflecting on two thousand years. It's just kinda very white middle class feminism and boring to boot.

I'm sorry Margaret and to anyone who thinks this makes me a bad feminist. I just think we deserve more interesting stories and a greater grasp of kyriarchy and intersectionality in our post-millennium feminist literature. ( )
  RatGrrrl | Dec 20, 2023 |
I am always confused when I read mythological retellings to give voice to the (usually voiceless) women in myth and then that one woman whom the author has given voice to spends a great chunk of her time talking about how awful all the OTHER women in myths are. In a brief 199 pages, Atwood manages to throw nearly every other female player in the orbit of Odysseus under the bus for seemingly no reason.

Additionally this retelling somehow failed at giving Penelope any type of personality. She truly was like the water her mother told her to be - formless and pliant. ( )
  sublunarie | Dec 19, 2023 |
This short book is a retelling of the Odyssey from the point of view of Penelope, waiting on Ithaca for her husband's return and becoming increasingly desperate due to the depredations of the gang of 100 young suitors who are squatting at the palace and eating her out of house and home. It is framed as her reflections after her death when she is living in the Greek afterlife thousands of years later.

I found it curiously flat from the point of view of any fleshing-out of Penelope as a character. It does go into her earlier life a bit, but she remains rather self pitying and eaten up with jealousy of Helen, who is unsympathetically portrayed. I'm not unfamiliar with such a portrayal, having read Georgia Sallaska's 1970s 'Priam's Daughter' but it comes across as a bit odd in a modern work which sets out to give sympathetic voices to the female characters. I found it supremely ironic also that despite this ambition, the twelve maids are dealt with collectively and given no individuality. Only one even has a name. Penelope professes to be eaten up with guilt at their execution, but seems wholly ineffective in doing anything to head it off.

The book is structured so that narrative by Penelope is interspersed with poetry and song by the maids as a Greek chorus. Some of this becomes very surreal - a modern day court trying to ascertain Odysseus' culpability for the deaths of the suitors and maids, and a scholarly treatment discussing whether the maids' execution symbolises the overthrow of Goddess worship, personified by Penelope, by a patriarchal religion embodied by Odysseus.

Altogether, especially since I recently enjoyed the author's 'The Year of the Flood', I found this a disappointment and can only rate it as an OK 2 stars. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Well, what a read! I read a couple of Margaret Atwood's novels before and was absolutely fascinated by them, so when I had the opportunity to read this retelling of The Odyssey from Penelope's point of view I couldn't let this chance go by! As usual, Atwood doesn't disappoint. Despite being essentially a monologue with chorus intermissions, this is a gripping read: I would have easily finished it in one sitting, but life got in the way... Of course, this is helped by the fact that it is a fairly short book. Still, I felt it to be exactly the right length.

In this faux memoir, we view daily life through Penelope's eyes, and are granted front row seats to one of mythologies greatest romances... or was it? Most people are familiar with Odysseus and his wonderful travels, but for once we are invited to leave adventure to one side and consider what it must have been like to be left behind. As the years go by, during and after the Trojan war, Penelope is left to manage her household in Ithaca, which for her is a foreign land, at a time when women (even princesses) weren't exactly at the top of the social pyramid. Left to fend for herself and unsure of who can be trusted, Penelope grows wonderfully in her role as head of the household. A highly intelligent woman, she develops her managerial abilities and devises clever schemes to improve her household's revenue and living conditions. Until a group of suitors decides she needs a new husband to manage her...

Building on a well-known myth, this book manages to bring a fresh perspective to a classic tale. We are privy to all of Penelope's worries, traumas and dreams and this is essential in improving our understanding of an often side-lined character. She truly feels real, with her frustrations and family pressures, her need for love and friendships, and her struggles against societal norms and a teenage son. Penelope is a well-rounded character that develops significantly through the novel, and definitely holds the scene. Other characters are less developed, and while this would normally be a definite negative for me, in this case I found myself accepting it unquestionably: it is The Penelopiad after all! I loved the chorus intermissions with their different styles and formats, and found them to be an extremely original way of portraying a collective voice from frequently ignored characters (in this case, the servant girls) and to introduce controversial narrative points.

Under the cloak of myth retelling, The Penelopiad offers an excellent starting point to reflect on issues still current today, such as gender and socio-economic inequalities or marriage and parenting. Highly recommended!

For this and more reviews, visit Book for Thought.

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way. ( )
  bookforthought | Nov 7, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 255 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
She channels Penelope by way of Absolutely Fabulous; one can imagine her chain-smoking and swilling wine between cracks about the weakness of men and the misery they visit upon women.
Atwood has done her research: she knows that penelopeia means "duck" in Greek; that ribald stories about a Penelope - whether "our Penelope" or someone else - were circulated; and that virginity could be renewed by the blood of male sacrifice.

» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Atwood, Margaretautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Chakrabarti, NinaArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Crepax, MargheritaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gagné, PaulTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Saint-Martin, LoriTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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'... Shrewd Odysseus! ... You are a fortunate man to have won a wife of such pre-eminent virtue! How faithful was your flawless Penelope, Icarius' daughter! How loyally she kept the memory of the husband of her youth! The glory of her virtue will not fade with the years, but the deathless gods themselves will make a beautiful song for mortal ears in honour of the constant Penelope'

      - The Odyssey, Book 24 (191-194)
. . . he took a cable which had seen service on a blue-bowed ship, made one end fast to a high column in the portico, and threw the other over the round-house, high up, so that their feet would not touch the ground. As when long-winged thrushes or doves get entangled in a snare . . . so the women's heads were held fast in a row, with nooses round their necks, to bring them to the most pitiable end. For a little while their feet twitched, but not for very long.

     — The Odyssey, Book 22 (470-473)
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For my family
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The story of Odysseus' return to his home kingdom of Ithaca following an absence of twenty years is best known from Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus is said to have spend half of these years fighting the Trojan War and the other half wandering around the Aegean Sea, trying to get home, enduring hardships, conquering or evading mosters, and sleeping with goddesses. The character of 'wily Odysseus' has been much commented on: he's noted as a persuasive liar and disguise artist—a man who lives by his wits, who devises stratagems and tricks, and who is sometimes too clever for his own good. His divine helper is Pallas Athene, a goddess who admires Odysseus for his ready inventiveness. [from the Introduction]
Now that I'm dead I know everything. This is what I wished would happen, but like so many of my wishes it failed to come true. I know only a few factoids that I didn't know before. Death is much tooo high a price to pay for the satisfaction of curiosity, needless to say. [from Chapter I]
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Two questions must pose themselves after any close reading of The Odyssey: what led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?
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The novella version of The Penelopiad issued under Canongate's Myths series should not be combined with the theatrical version of Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad - The Play (Faber and Faber ISBN 978-0571239498 and possibly other editions) due to the different form and content. Thank you.
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Now that I'm dead I know everything - The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus retold on audio. Margaret Atwood gives Penelope a modern and witty voice to tell her side of the story, and set the record straight for good.

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