Thursday, September 19, 2013


Standing in the checkout line while the nice man was bagging my groceries, I started daydreaming about Odysseus' dog, who recognized his returning master after twenty years of absence. I thought I'd like to find the passage and later, by synchronicity, I did.

"The Death of Argos" appears on pages 90-91 of September 23, 2013, New Yorker, translated by Stephen Mitchell.

Wonderful, wonderful lines in front of Odysseus' palace:

"As they spoke, a dog who was lying there lifted his head
and pricked up his ears. It was Argos, Odysseus' dog;
he had trained him and brought him up as a puppy....
but he had grown old in his master's absence, and now
he lay abandoned on one of the heaps of mule
and cattle dung that piled up... And so the dog Argos lay there,
covered with ticks. As soon as he was aware
of Odysseus he wagged his tail and flattened his ears,
but he lacked the strength to get up and go to his master...."

I was daydreaming and then I read it. Don't you just love the civilized world.


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