June 7, 2016

Nice Angle on an Old Classic: The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan by Bryan Doerries

If you were raised in western culture and you heard any old stories that did not necessarily have chapter and verse and some red letters in there, you were sure to be familiar with the story of the Trojan War as tradition tells us was told by homer in the two epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even if you don’t know the whole story (Trojan guy steals Greek wife, Greeks get mad and spend 10 years fighting outside of Troy (spoiler alert) then they leave but have a small army inside of a horse that the Trojans drag inside so the Trojans lose. Then the Greeks lead by Odysseus take another ten years to get back to Ithaca – a record in not asking for directions only surpassed by Moses. The he gets back home and has to beat up the guys that have been hanging out at his house waiting around to hook up with his wife who has been leading those guys on the whole time), then you know some of these parts of it – some of the more famous I left from the summary).

So there have been lots of versions of the text, but I like this version because it is able to make the story new by giving it not a contemporary by putting it in the current era as a setting, but using the story as a base to help understand the soldiers in current predicaments. It shows that though the stories can change, the soldiers over time have kept telling different versions of the same stories. It just seems that modern versions have fewer Cyclopes.