How to finish The Iliad

Perhaps the gods have decided to intervene because I suddenly find myself at book 21! After taking 3 months to get to book 11. The end is in sight: the war will end. As it turns out, there is nothing like a hospital emergency room to give you all the time in the world to finish lingering books. I am even almost enjoying it for the first time. This weekend, feeling defeated, I read all of some random web-site’s summaries of the “books”; that, and the translation I switched to around book 9, (sorry Mr. Fitzgerald)  has really improved the situation. I nearly fell off the gurney laughing when Hera (in my new book, Juno) seduced Zeus (now, Jove) to distract him from her meddling in the war and he is so taken with her he can’t help saying- “Never yet have I been so overpowered by passion neither for goddess nor mortal woman as I am at this moment for yourself- not even when I was in love with the wife of Ixion who bore me Pirithoüs…nor yet with Danaë the daintily-ancled (sic) daughter if Acrisius…” and on and on recounting perhaps 10-15 former conquests. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really think I would be aroused by a litany of my lover’s former flames. Daintily-ankled: really? But as it hurt too much to laugh I had to suppress myself. Crying too, incidentally: weeping is not recommended when one has severe tonsillitis. I try not to move my face or head at all in fact, even if I occasionally drool: like I’ve had Botox, as my son, so sweet, put it.

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