What is The L.A. Odyssey Project?

Throughout the month of October, The L.A. Odyssey Project will journey into the neighborhoods of Los Angeles to explore the connections between literature, history, science, and the humanities to shine a distinctly Southern California light on Homer’s epic poem.

Our Odyssey: A Reading of Homer's Epic By the People and For the People

Saturday, October 25, 2014 10am to 5:30pm | Central Library

Library Foundation

Alice Oswald: In Light of Homer’s Odyssey

Thursday, October 16, 2014 7:30pm | Getty Villa

Library Foundation

Peter Shire in Conversation with Mary Louise Hart

Saturday, October 18, 2014 2pm | Getty Villa

Library Foundation

Essays

These essays were commissioned by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles for The L.A. Odyssey Project to reflect two different perspectives on this epic poem.


No. 1
The Odysseys of Homer

“… one word needs no translation at all: the poem’s title, which has become a by-word for any adventurous journey you undertake. You can odyssey into space, into Hell, or simply home, and you can even do some of this traveling in a minivan marketed as an “Odyssey.” The entirety of your life can be a physical or spiritual odyssey, though you should beware the label, which conjures up a mountain of difficulties and effort, however rewarding the final outcome may be.”

Read the Full Essay

No. 2
Hard Wired for Homer:
A Conversation About Memory in The Odyssey

“…Odysseus is a very powerful and persuasive storyteller. In Homer’s time, epics were sung and singing is a way to fuse a memory with its emotional content.  If I had an accident, you might empathize, but if I created a powerful story or song out of it, you would feel it.”

 

Read the Full Essay

This map was created by Vibrant Data and charts the influence of The Odyssey across time and space.

#LAODYSSEY

Homer In
Hollywood

An awkward turf war was inevitable when Homer decided to visit Hollywood for The L. A. Odyssey Project. As such, during Odyssey programs throughout October, this incredible, specially-designed Simpsons poster will be made available at participating Los Angeles Public Library branches.

Simpsons_OdysseyPoster_R7

About

Ever since the 8th century BCE, new audiences have been discovering some kinship to the basic human struggles found in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. The story of Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War –encountering sea monsters, fantastical enchantresses, gods, and goddesses –is one of a man battling the elements both within and without. Meanwhile back in Ithaca, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must manage for 20 years without knowing Odysseus’s fate. This fall, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library have teamed up to consider what Homer’s epic tale of adventure and endurance means today.

The L.A. Odyssey Project will journey through the neighborhoods of Los Angeles to explore the
connections between literature, history, science, and the humanities to shine a distinctly Southern California
light on this classic tale.