Eve of the Festival: Making Myth in Odyssey 19

  Levaniouk, Olga. 2011. Eve of the Festival: Making Myth in Odyssey 19. Hellenic Studies Series 46. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Levaniouk.Eve_of_the_Festival.2011.


To the memory of my grandparents, Maria and Mendel.


A fellowship from the Loeb Library Foundation in 2005 gave me time to imagine the overall shape of the book so that writing could begin in earnest. The Department of Classics at the University of Washington has been a wonderfully collegial and supportive place to work. I am grateful in particular to Stephen Hinds, Jim Clauss, Alain Gowing, Catherine Connors, and Ruby Blondell for their feedback and encouragement.

Calvert Watkins and Gloria Ferrari read my dissertation on local traditions in the Odyssey, from which parts of this book originate. Their instruction was of great help at that now distant stage, and they continue to guide my steps indirectly through the example of their scholarship. Chapter 17 began its life as an essay for a collection, Nine Essays on Homer, and I am indebted to all participants in that project (Miriam Carlisle, Brian Breed, Mary Ebbott, Andrea Kouklanakis, Fred Naiden, Corinne Pache, John Watrous) for their critiques and editorial help. Albert Henrichs’ recommendations were instrumental in the shaping of Chapter 2 in its earlier instantiation as an article (Levaniouk 2000a). Parts of Chapters 12 and 16 were presented at the conference “Penelope’s Revenge,” held in Calgary in 2004, and much improved by reactions I received there, especially those of Reyes Bertolín-Cebrián, Pura Nieto-Hernández, David Konstan, and Ingrid Holmberg. This book benefited from the many stimulating conversations I had with Natasha Bershadsky and from her masterful stylistic advice. Anita Nikkanen read this book in its preliminary shape and sent me a multitude of useful suggestions and corrections. Jill Curry Robbins shepherded the manuscript through the editorial process with understanding, efficiency and expertise. Irene Convey formatted and proofread the text. Special thanks are due to Leonard Muellner for countless good deeds ranging from professional counsel to help with computers, for his graceful realism and immense forbearance during the years of my work on this book, and for his remarkable scholarship.

Finally, this book would never have been written without my family. I am endlessly grateful to my parents for their patience and also for their impatience, for babysitting and practical help, but most of all for their encouragement and moral support. I thank my aunt, Irina Petrovna Levaniouk, for introducing me to the epic of Alpamysh. I am grateful to my son Tosha for being born between part one and part two and making me see that I must finish the manuscript. And I am grateful to my husband and colleague, Alex Hollmann, for being my first reader, for offering countless comments and saving me from numerous mistakes, and for never refusing to re-read a section, even when I myself could no longer bear to do so. I owe a great deal to his critical judgment and sage advice. Needless to say, any mistakes and infelicities remaining are my own.