Suddenly, it seems like so much is going on in my department here at the Millennium Library. This month, we followed in the footsteps of those clever folks at Westwood Library and launched our own Tales in the Afternoon: Readings for Grownups (every second Wednesday at 4:30 pm). We have our ongoing Folk Fest in the City workshops and in motion events, as well as our ongoing weekly lectures and concerts of our long-running Skywalk series. The push is also on to get ready for the Freedom to Read Marathon being held on Saturday March 2.
Despite the busy-ness, I wanted to be sure to take the time to let a you all know a little bit about the continuation of our partnership with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. When we launched the partnership in January with artist talks and a recommended reading list for MTC’s new adaptation of Gone With the Wind we received a lot of very encouraging feedback. So, to continue the fun, we have created a reading list for MTC’s new show The Penelopiad (Feb. 21-Mar. 9), which Margaret Atwood has adapted from her short novel of the same name. The story brings a twist to the classic Odyssey myth, this time focusing on Odysseus’s wife Penelope, left to run a kingdom and cope with a spoiled teenaged son and exploitive, aggressive suitors.
We have also planned a lunch hour talk for Friday, March 8. Dr. Jane Cahill, Chair of the Department of Classics at the University of Winnipeg and author of Her Kind: Stories of Women from Greek Mythology will discuss the adaptation of classical myths to reflect the female point of view. Until then, if you’d like, you can dive into the story’s themes on your own using our further reading list:
For More from a Woman’s Point of View:
Her Kind: Stories of Women from Greek Mythology by Jane Cahill
Current University of Winnipeg Classics professor Cahill imagines how Medusa, Jocasta and other women, cast in a less-than-flattering light by the established version of their stories, might seek to set the record straight.
Women’s Life in Greece and Rome: A Source Book in Translation edited by Mary R. Lefkowitz & Maureen B. Fant
The public and private lives of Ancient Greek and Roman women, from prostitutes to housewives, including information on property rights, legal statuses, and religious roles.
Penelopeia by Jane Rawlings
After her husband’s return, Penelope sets off for adventures of her own, told as an epic poem in the style of Homer’s Odyssey.
Helen of Troy by Margaret George
This retelling of the circumstances that triggered the Trojan War reveals a woman driven to act of desperation, despite the prophecy that foretells of its disastrous repercussions.
For More Reimagined Myths:
The Greek Myths by Robert Graves
For many, the definitive retelling of Greek myths, which Atwood cites as research for The Penelopiad.
Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds
A visual retelling of the adventures of Odysseus as he tries to make his way home from the Trojan War hindered by storms, monsters, sirens, and sorceresses.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
In this new interpretation, told from the point of view of his sworn companion Patroclus, Achilles is a charismatic yet naïve warrior struggling unsuccessfully against his destiny.
Weight by Jeanette Winterson
A medition on the story of Atlas, sentenced to forever bear the weight of earth and heavens on his back, and the conundrum he faces when the possibility arises of offloading his gruelling task onto Heracles. From the Canongate Myths series for which The Penelopiad was written.
For More From the Canongate Myths Series:
Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis by Ali Smith
Iphis is a girl raised, by necessity, as a boy, who becomes enamored with and engaged to another girl. Miraculously, just before the wedding Iphis, is seemingly transformed. Or is she simply flouting the conventions of her society?
Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus by Salley Vickers
In the last years of his life, Freud is visited by an old man, who, it turns out, witnessed the story of Oedipus firsthand.
Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by A.S. Byatt
Truth and story intermingle as a young girl delves into the concluding myth in the Norse canon, even as she is being evacuated from her war-torn home.
I hope you can make it out to one of programs and/or enjoy some of the materials we offer. Stay warm — spring is just around the corner.