Last week, I finished up what may well have been the most difficult chapter of my dissertation where I wrote about the goddess Athene’s role in the Iliad where that owl-eyed Olympian is, well, not the most attractive of figures. She does have her moments, particularly at the beginning where she restrains Achilles from rash action, but on the whole, she’s pretty ruthless, wanting to destroy the city of Troy, largely because its prince found her sister Aphrodite to be fairer than she.
Difficult the chapter was because the goddess is not as appealing as I would like her to be, but I did enjoy the research, appreciating the epic much more than I ever had and agreeing, against my own wishes, that is it is better than the Odyssey, long one of my favorite books in all literature.
Almost immediately after sending that chapter in, I plunged into the final stages of research for the next chapter, one that much happier epic, the chapter I have most wanted to write since the idea for this project came to me. In this epic, that of Odysseus’ homecoming and his son’s coming of age, Athene is a far more appealing figure, helping that young man, Telemachus, shed his youthful insecurities, find his father and stand up for himself while guiding the hero home.
Anyway, all this work (but enjoyable work it is) coupled with tax season has, alas, prevented me from blogging at the pace I have been in recent weeks. Do expect to get back up to speed in a couple of days, once I have reached the point in my research where I am ready to continue writing the chapter. I say, “continue,” because I have already started writing the chapter, indeed, its introduction was the first part of the paper I wrote since I drafted my “Concept Paper” while still taking classes.