Odyssey Funmaries #9: Laestrygonians (Book X.XXVIII-CXLV)

By JERRY GRIT

A lot happens here, but Odysseus is suspiciously short on the details.

Odysseus continues his woeful story to the Phaeacians. After losing the magical whooppee cushion (no Vore-esque restraint here), Odysseus describes how his fleet rows dejectedly for 6 days and ends up of the land of the Laestrygonians.

In the calm cove, all of the ships in Odysseus’ fleet tie themselves together. Odysseus alone anchors his ship separately outside this cove … and doesn’t really explain why.

Odysseus sees a plume of smoke and … unlike on Cyclops … he doesn’t investigate, but sends some crew instead. Again, highly suspicious.

3 random crewmembers go ashore to find the king of the land, King Antiphates, and run into his “strapping” daughter. According to Mirriam Webster,  “strapping” means “vigorously sturdy.” If you don’t know much about a land, and you run across a vigorously sturdy little girl, it might give you some concern about the size of its grown men.

She sends them off to the big palace. In the palace, they meet the queen, who’s huge. Surprise, the Laestrygonians are giants. And guess what giants like to eat?

Little dudes covered in olive oil.

The queen freaks and summons the king. He bursts in and snatches up one of the sailors and “tore him open for dinner.”

The 2 other sailors freak out and flee. The king calls out to his big peoples. With the entire fleet trapped and tied together in the cove (all but for Odysseus’ ship), the giants “speared the crew like fish” and took them home for Archaean shish kabobs.

Picture 2

Only Odysseus and his ship’s crew escapes. No more fleet.

This part of the story really bothers me. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Why does Odysseus dock away from the fleet? Why does he not go ashore? And why does he seem to know so much about the island, but not that it’s inhabited by man-eating giants?

My hunch: Odysseus is probably pissed about his crew letting the wind out of the bag. Vengefully, he serves them up. Odysseus, mad about losing the wind bag, becomes a douche bag.

Countdown to Bloomsday…

We read page 1 of Ulysses 10 days!

Get hungry for it!

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6 Responses

  1. Do you remember that time you called my mom a vigorously sturdy little girl?

    You’re a monster.

  2. No, I don’t remember that time.

    Your mother is a wonderful woman with a healing touch.

  3. […] losing the rest of his fleet, Odysseus charts a course for the Aeaean island. With the help of a god, Odysseus and the boys land […]

  4. […] you remember from my fun summary of the relevant episode from The Odyssey, this was the apex of Odysseus’ douche-y-ness. Peeved because 2 crew members let the air out […]

  5. […] from the windy windbags of “Aeolus”, to hunger and food motifs. If you remember from my astute funmary of the relevant episode in The Odyssey, this was where Odysseus sets up his entire fleet to be eaten by a bunch of giants after they […]

  6. […] intimately depicted gross eating recalls the man barbeque the Lestrygonians had of Odysseus’ fleet. And Bloom’s revulsion to the scene […]

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