The World of Homer - Andrew Lang

The World of Homer

By Andrew Lang

  • Release Date: 2014-12-12
  • Genre: Literary Criticism
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The World of Homer Andrew Lang Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

First published in 1910.  The book begins: " "Homer's world," "the world that Homer knew," these are familiar phrases; and criticism is apt to tell us that they are empty phrases. Nevertheless when we use them we think of that enchanted land, so clearly seen in the light of "the Sun of Greece"; in the light of Homer. It is a realm of splendid wars, of gleaming gold and bronze, of noble men and of the most beautiful of women, which shines through a rift in the mists that hide the years before it and the years that followed. Can what appears so brilliant, so living, so solid, have been unreal, the baseless fabric of a vision; of a dream, too, that Homer never dreamed, for there was no Homer? The Homeric picture of life, the critics tell us, displays no actual scene of past human existence, and is not even the creation of one man's fantasy. It is but a bright medley and mosaic of coloured particles that came together fortuitously, or were pieced together clumsily, like some church window made up of fragments of stained mediaeval glass. "Homeric civilisation," says a critic, "is like Homeric language; as the one was never spoken, so the other was never lived by any one society."

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