“Has Anyone Seen Telemachus?”: Book 4 of The Odyssey

Self can hardly wait until she gets to the part of The Odyssey where someone says:

Daddy, can you paint my wagon …

She thinks it’s about halfway through the book. She read that section while she was browsing in the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino.

In the meantime, here’s Noemon (son of Phronius), addressing his fellow rivals (suitors) for the hand of Penelope, Telemachus’s mother (One interesting thing about this Emily Wilson translation is that she makes it clear that the suitors are no older than Telemachus himself. How weird is that? It would be as if son or one of his classmates decided to woo a woman 20 years older. And such is these suitors’ scorn for convention that they’ve been bullying Telemachus, for years. Telemachus brings out all of self’s Mommy instincts. As she makes her way through this section, self wants to yell: Leave my boy Telemachus alone, you dirty rats!)

Noemon

Do we know . . .  whether Telemachus is coming back
. . .  He left with my ship.
I need it, to cross over to the fields
of Elis, where I have twelve mares with mules
suckling their teats and not yet broken in.

They were all
astonished, since they had not thought the boy
was gone to Pylos, but was somewhere near,
out with the sheep or pigs.

This is so, so . . .

Points, Telemachus!

Antinous

Damn! That stuck-up boy
succeeded in his stupid trip. We thought
he would not manage it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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