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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Things to keep in mind:
Further secrets of the epic.

Often we grow impatient with epic poems. Too long, we feel—all those irrelevant interruptions, those additions, conventions, invocations, interpolations, those stories and speeches, catalog and dull history. But these are all part of the journey, the reader’s journey on his long way around. For just as there are epic poets, involved in the task of creating, and just as there are epic heroes, who labor to create, so also are there epic readers. And all of those digressions and history and stretches of catalog, all those elements of the poem which image the vastness and variety of the real world, allow the epic poet to involve the epic reader in the meaning of the poem, which is the immense difficulty of getting there and the driving necessity to go.

A. Bartlett Giamatti

—posted 2639 days ago

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