Schliemann, not Runnels
Back in the late 1960s, when I was in the US Navy, I thought I would make good use of my time by learning Homeric Greek, so that I could read The Odyssey in its original tongue, which I thought would be quite a stunt for an Argonaut such as myself. As part of my preparation to tackle Homer, I read all sorts of related material, which was how I found out about Heinrich Schliemann, the amateur archaeologist who more or less “discovered” Homer’s Troy in the modern world. He was a remarkable man who spoke more than a dozen languages, and who claimed he could learn a new one in 6 weeks. Inspired by the mighty Heinrich, I’d to lock myself up in a cheap hotel room whenever I had shore leave, take a bunch of Dexedrine, and immerse myself in Homeric Greek.
It didn’t work. I lost a lot of sleep and remained in a perpetually jittery state, but failed to acquire, in any meaningful way, the ability to read The Odyssey in its original tongue. I did, however, come away with a lifelong interest in the remarkable Schliemann.
So, when friend and customer Curtis Runnels proposed a guest blog about that very fellow, I was delighted.
When you read his column, you will be, too.
You’ll also understand, if you don’t already, why real, live book fairs are vital to our trade. I don’t care how sophisticated developers get with their virtual platforms, they’ll never write a program for serendipity.