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Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

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Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Old 04-30-01, 01:30 AM
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We were talking about books we read in High School at work the other day and I mentioned Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey. Everyone was shocked. They had never heard of anyone reading these in high school and most of them have still never read them, in college or otherwise. So I was wondering. Was my High School unique? Did any of the rest of you read these back in high School? I was in HS from '88 to '91, but from other books we talked about it's been pretty much the same stuff from at least the '70s to the late '90s.

Old 04-30-01, 02:40 AM
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We read both in my high school. Read the Odyssey again in college for a Heroes and Warriors Literature class.

Anyone in high school or teach high school here? I was just recently wondering what kinds of things they were having kids read these days. I always thought of the schools as being fairly conservative in this respect (why else would we have read Jude the Obscure?!), but you never know. I'd like to see the reading list of an 11th grade English class, both regular and advanced.

Incidentally, I should note that I think I was in honors English, but not quite super-nerd. They had books assigned to them over the summer. Sheesh.
Old 04-30-01, 05:47 PM
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D'oh. I have a B.A. in English but never read any Homer. Schools don't teach the classics anymore. I suppose he's now most likely read in college philosophy classes (though I didn't read the complete works in Phil 101 either).
Old 04-30-01, 05:54 PM
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I graduated from high school last year, and the only books I can remeber reading that were assigned are: One Flew over the Cuckoo's nest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Montana 1984 (or some other year, i can't quite recall), The Things They Carried (good war book), and Romeo & Juliet.
Old 04-30-01, 05:56 PM
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I read the Iliad (and maybe the Odyssey, can't remember) in an advanced english class in jr. high (seriously). Don't remember much of any of it though.
Old 01-23-11, 05:33 AM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

As a completely irrelevant aside, I read it in the Greek when I was at school. One of the benefits of a classical education.
Old 01-24-11, 04:09 AM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

I read The Odyssey when I was a freshman in high school. When I was a junior my English teacher gave the class two book choices and the Illiad was one of choices and I choose to read that. I graduated high school in 2003 and at the time all the English teachers would assign Homer at some point for reading and writing assignments.
Old 01-24-11, 10:13 AM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

I read the Iliad and the Odyssey...BUT..it wasn't in the original poem form...we never could have got through that...I believe it was a 'prose-ification' of the classics
Old 01-24-11, 10:17 AM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Scarecrow, I'm the exact same age as you and we read both books. We were the last class to do so before the mention of "Homer" elicited snickers from the students.
Old 01-24-11, 10:30 AM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Read them both in high school. Graduated in 2001. The Odyssey in 9th grade and The Iliad in 11th or 12th.
Old 01-24-11, 04:01 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

I read The Odyssey my freshman year of high school, but didn't read The Iliad until I took a class on Homer in college. Graduated high school in 1999.
Old 01-24-11, 08:36 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Graduated in '92 and we read both (The Odyssey in 9th, The Iliad in 11th)... By far the worst experience in high school was having to read Jane Eyre in 11th grade.
Old 01-30-11, 03:22 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Read them in 7th and 8th grade. I don't remember rereading them for high school.
Old 01-30-11, 08:06 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Almost ten years since the last post. Is this a record for a bump?

I read Tolstoy, Steinbeck, and Dickens for class in high school. I read Homer on my own a few years ago.
Old 01-30-11, 08:14 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Never read The Iliad or The Odyssey, but I am contemplating buying the Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics edition that contains both of them. They're probably not a very easy read, huh?
Old 02-01-11, 06:04 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

Originally Posted by Kory View Post
Never read The Iliad or The Odyssey, but I am contemplating buying the Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics edition that contains both of them. They're probably not a very easy read, huh?
Actually, they rock. There's good reason that they've been "in print" for 2500 years. You just have to find a good translation. Any "leatherbound classic" book is likely to be a Victorian-era public domain translation. If you're finding it rough going, try a different translator.

I liked the Robert Fagles translation, because he put the poetry on the backburner in favor of the story. A lot of people also recommend Fitzgerald or Lattimore.
Old 02-01-11, 06:24 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

This is the first chapter of the Iliad:

Achilles is the toughest fighter in the whole bronze-age combined army. A while back, they captured a bunch of women, which they took as slaves. They divided up the spoils fairly. Achilles got the hottest girl, and now he loves her.

Jump forward to today. Menelaus, who is the king in command of the combined army (because a lot of guys here are kings of their own islands), takes the girl away for his own, which breaks the agreement of the division of spoils.

Achilles gets mad, tells Menelaus to go fuck himself, and removes his army from the siege. Then he prays to his mother, who is a minor goddess, and asks her to make his side lose until they beg to have him back. His mother, in turn, asks Zeus to make the combined army lose, and he does.

Now does that sound like a hard read?
Old 02-05-11, 07:24 PM
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Re: Did anyone read Homer back in High School?

I read the prose versions while I was in high school but on my own, not in a class--I was a mythology fiend.

I reread The Iliad even though a lot of it was "So-and-so killed w, x, y, and z today."

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