Greek Myth to Modern Novel: Jenny Morris

"During the last few years, several novelists have turned their attention to myths from Greek mythology, transforming them into fiction for the 21st century. In some cases, the mythical characters and plot remain at the foreground of the book, whilst the perspective may be different from the ancient source text: Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad, and Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls are cases in point; similarly, Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles and her recent Circe. All four novels are clearly inspired by Homer’s epics. Other contemporary writers have distanced themselves from the ancient Greek environment, using contemporary characters and situations, but taking their core inspiration from an ancient story. Most notable here, is Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which explores a situation presented on the Athenian stage by Sophocles in the 5th century BC, but which now tells the story of a young Muslim women with a radicalised brother. Participants do not need a detailed knowledge of Greek mythology, and are not expected to have read all these novels: it is hoped that they will be inspired to read some of them during the course, however. There will be much discussion."

Tutor: Jenny Morris

"Jenny Morris is an Associate Lecturer at the OU and also a schoolteacher, teaching Classics and Philosophy. She read these subjects at the University of Cambridge and undertook postgraduate research at University College London. She was Head of Classics at Bedford High School for Girls for twenty years and continues to teach in local schools. She started working as a tutor here at the REC in 2011 and enjoyed the company of its students immediately. "