Too Clever By Half: What We Learn from the Mistakes of Great Literary Characters
Noted writer and critic Daniel Mendelsohn considers the paradoxical role of mistakes in works of great literature. Paying special attention to Homer's Odyssey and its hero Odysseus, Mendelsohn investigates the ethical and structural value of screwing up. He explores the ways that missteps and gaffes lead to satisfying stories, and how characters gain insight as they arc from stubborn self-confidence to humbling realizations of error. Like many of literature's intellectually overconfident players, even Odysseus has to blunder badly before he can truly be called "brilliant."
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