Homer vs. Tolkien

After reading the (almost interminable) introductions and prefaces and forewords I got to start Homer’s The Odyssey as translated by Mr. E.V. Rieu and introduced by Mr. Peter Jones.

One thing that struck me most was how similar in style it felt to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Especially the bits with the “rosy-fingered Dawn” (even though I was forewarned, if I never hear that phrase again it’ll be too soon) and “godlike people” served by “faithful servants”. Now I’m not accusing Homer of ‘lifting’ from Tolkien; apparently Homer may have been blind and not that good at reading anyway. But the similarities are there, and perhaps this repetition of adverbs is the crux of what good story-telling is all about. More of this later.

I am currently a bit puzzled about the relationship between “Zeus’ daughter” Helen (back from Troy, the little slut) and “auburn-haired” Menelaus though; it’s all sweet words saying how she was such a bitch and walked around the wooden horse trying to get the soldiers killed, etc.