Goodbye, Monday blues; Hello, new Tobias Wolff fiction. Excerpt:
“Odysseus turned his back on the harbour and followed a rough track leading through the woods and up to the hills toward the place where Athene had told him . . .”
Richard read on for a time. He was restless but tried to take an interest in Odysseus’ journey to the home of his loyal “swineherd”—what a word, what a way to make a living!—who of course doesn’t recognize him, nobody ever recognized anybody in these old books, but offers Odysseus a meal anyway and bangs his ear off with complaints. Now and then Richard glanced over at Ana, asleep beside him. He kept willing her to wake, to turn and open her arms to him—no such luck. Gloomy, impatient, he went back to the Odyssey. Ana had left it on the bedside table, open to this chapter, which Richard found boring and implausible. He leafed ahead to the part where Odysseus strings his bow and slaughters all the suitors, but there was a lot more fancy description and speechifying than he remembered from the version he’d read as a kid. He was supposed to have read it again, a couple years ago, as part of his freshman core at Columbia, but he’d come down with the flu that week.