UT Library organises the public reading of Odyssey


UT Library will hold the public reading of Homer’s Odyssey on Friday, 24 March at 11.00. The epic will simultaneously be read in 26 countries in relation to the European Festival of Latin and Greek in Lyon.  

“We will read out the 5th book of Odyssey, and we will do it in Estonian as well as in old Greek,” said one of the organisers of the event, the UT Library senior research fellow Janika Päll. “This book tells us about the beginning of the last decisive stage of Odysseus’s journey home.”

“This year, the topic of journey home is quite hot for the UT Library. The books that have been packed in the boxes yearn to be back on the shelves, and students cannot come to the library due to the ongoing renovation, although it used to be more or less the second home for them during study sessions,” Päll related the today’s situation in the library with the plot of the epic poem. “But there is still hope. Tartu is one of the UNESCO cities of literature, classical languages, including the old Greek of Homer’s, are taught and studied here, we feel at home in the European cultural space, and the renovation will also be completed one day.”  

The European culture has its roots in Greece. Homer’s Odyssey tells us about the adventures of Odysseus on his journey home after the fall of Troy. This story connects many nations as Odysseus travelled through Europe, but particularly, the topic of getting back home can refer to numerous refugees and exiles all over the world.

The readings in different cities will be documented and shown as a collage in the antique open air theatre of Lyon on the same day. In Tartu, the event will be held together with the UNESCO City of Literature Tartu and the students of old Greek.  

The epic will be read out in the second reading room of the UT Library during one hour. If the weather is fine and the readers and audience are enthusiastic, the reading of the 6th book will be continued in front of the library building. Everybody is welcome to come and listen, as well as to register as a reader.  


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