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A few words of discouragement... :) - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
October 14th, 2003
01:12 am


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A few words of discouragement... :)
I'm thrilled to see that people are interested in my proposed Intro. to Homer seminar. Since the practical capacity of both my flat and what makes a comfortable reading group is limited, let me try to scare some of you off... ;)


The text is interesting and beautiful. This I guarantee. So is Tschernichowski's translation. However, the translation uses a rather richer set of Hebrew than most of us are used to. The language sometimes uses a few obscure nouns, but the syntax is clear and the narrative is not hampered, in my opinion. I will be ready with glosses (hello, Renee!) and meanings for what I recognize to be difficult words, but take into account that some degree of effort is involved in reading the text.

bottom line: Since I don't want to hold the group up explaining words that are "merely" high-literary and not obscure, I ask you to be sure you can handle a lot of literary Hebrew and some Biblical syntax. e.g. you should not be confused by the forms וַיֵט or ותִיף. I don't mean this to really scare you off; but if you feel you can't handle this sort of thing, despair not! Ahuvia Kahane is working even as we speak on translating the Iliad into modern Hebrew prose with annotations, which should be the best version for those of you who would find Tschernichowski too hard.


I expect full attendance every meeting (barring force majeurs, naturally). If you can't make a meeting, you'll be expected to catch up on the reading on your own. I'll e-mail/fax any handouts (maps, glossaries, whatever I have time to prepare) I may have given during the meeting to those who couldn't make it, but I won't read the text we've covered with them. I'll answer questions and direct them to as much information as necessary, of course.

bottom line: After the introductory lecture, I expect those who choose to stay to stick it out or drop out. Don't bother signing up if you'd attend any less than 80% of the meetings (there would be around 20-25 meetings).


Meetings will last between three and five hours, and there's plenty of material to cover, both in reading and in discussion. If you're hyperactive, impatient, or otherwise can't stand five hours of reading, listening, and discussion (coffee breaks will be made, of course), please don't sign up: this seminar can't support you.

bottom line: Be with the program or take an elk.


Having said that, I do want you to take the seminar, of course. :) I just want to set realistic expectations, so that everyone gets the most out of this experience.

P.S. Yes, I know most of you really need to know the day of the week. I am free on all evenings except Friday. So there are six possibilities, and we pick the one suitable for the most people. To do that, I need to know when you can and can't make it. If you haven't done so already (and most of you haven't), send me an e-mail with your time constraints. If everyone does this ASAP, I can do the math and come up with a day ASAP, too. Go on, send me that e-mail, now.

P.P.S. Four Special Seminar Points will be awarded to s/he who recognizes the allusion made in this entry's title. It's a bit obscure, but the answer is in a past entry of mine. Consider this a humble form of entertainment if you're very bored.

Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Frank Zappa -- Peaches en Regalia

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