Homer’s Odyssey in Greece: One-week immersion

Course NameLocationDurationDateTime
Homer's Odyssey in GreeceTBA-- Greek IslandOne week with several prep meetings03 - 10 May 2019

Kayaking near Agistri

Drawing on the success of the LLS, we are excited to expand the studies by offering retreats that place participants in locales that reflect and expand the literature. By taking participants to beautiful places, the LLS retreat offers a more intensive immersion in the book while opening the mind to a part of the world illuminated through the beauty of the language. 

The Greek Odyssey study for May 2019 will use Homer’s epic poem to consider closely the guest-host relationship, the defining struggle of humans against overwhelming nature, the struggle to know ourselves in foreign spaces, our understanding of the heroic and the role of myth and epic in lived experience. With the expertise of fellow facilitators, poet Carolyn Donnelly and actor Jane Wymark, we will broaden our understanding of the poetic form and modern interpretations and prepare passages of the text for dramatic presentation. 

We are carefully researching the potential sites for this study– needing an ideal combination of a local space run by someone who understands our mission & can provide us room & board that has some cultural offerings and/or Homeric connection– and is easy to access. We have three or four sites that we continuing to explore; as soon as we have firm details, we can provide the cost and logistics. At this time, the study is scheduled for 3rd- 10th of May 2019. Please contact me if you are keen & I will email you directly as soon as the pieces fall into place. 

About the epic…       

The Salon has certainly been a place to re-discover- or discover for the first time- the works that form the cornerstones of Western literary tradition. The Odyssey is a root for our understanding of ourselves as well as the words and ways of the ancients. How does it continue to shape our idea of the heroic? What do the dilemmas that Odysseus faces offer to us today? Can we still appreciate the lyric and narrative quality alongside a violent story filled with the suffering and death of nameless servants, slave girls and soldiers?


Many artists have used The Odyssey as an inspiration for their work as Joyce does with Ulysses and the Coen brothers did for their film(winning an Oscar for the best screenplay adaptation from Homer’s original)…the epic struggle to return home and exploration of the guest/relationship remain relevant across time.

David Denby, in his work Great Books, describes his engagement with The Odyssey as an essential exploration of the formation of the self for the reader as well as for Telemachus and Odysseus: “Even at the beginning of the literary tradition of the West, the self has masks, and remakes itself as a fiction and not as a guiltless fiction either. . .

The Odyssey is an after-the-war poem, a plea for relief and gratification, and it turns, at times, into a sensual, even carnal celebration.”

Further reading : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10833515/Alice-Oswald-how-to-read-Homer.html