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 Friday September 23rd 2016Tim Candler9

 

      The Witch of Ithaca is a name with a potentially confusing reason. Ithaca is an Ionian Island and the home of Odysseus. There may be many readings of the poem, but one reading might suggest that it's all about a chap who went for a bit of a walkabout, had some very strange adventures, had a few remarks to make about this and that, and then had a hell of time getting back to his home on the Island of Ithaca. Then there are people who might suggest this is very simplistic, to the point of being an illiterate interpretation of sacred texts.  More likely, they'll argue, The Odyssey is a definition of what it is to be human, dealing with temptation, battling the odds and returning to the beginning as a Greek Hero, as opposed to some low down cigar smoking scoundrel with an under-aged wife, flashy car and ill-gained foreign investments. So that's the Ithaca part of the Witch of Ithaca

 

Past

      Not being that smart, and having once suffered from the burden of a lisp, your writer of pulp always reckoned that Ithaca sounded a little like Isca. And the thing about it is, Isca Silurum is a Roman fort in south Wales that basically means Water of the Silures which is a river now generally called the River Usk. The Roman's had a whole foreign invasion thing happening, and initially their forts were kind of important to keeping the locals in check. In time everyone settled down, Isca Silurum had a bear pit for thoroughly masculine entertainments, and oddly this bear pit was once thought to be King Arthur's Round Table by the more romantic souls. The point is, there are two kinds of girls in the Odyssey. One super heroic, upright and decent by Homer's somewhat fuddy-duddy black and white standards, the other one loathsome and appalling. Penelope and Clytemnestra, if you're interested.  So that's the Witch part of the Witch of Ithaca.

 

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