5 October 2012

An enchanted Odyssey on your iPad

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Article by Francesca Salvadori, Scuolalvento blog
Translation from the Italian

Technology is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think about poetry and how it can be captured and transmitted. But this emotional and colourful voyage with Ulysses would not be the same on paper.

The application is based on a book with gorgeous illustrations and wise and simple storytelling, but without the diffuse backlighting of the screen that transforms even the deepest greys and blues into something lively and vibrant, the enchantment of the narration would never be as strong.

Polyphemos really walks into you, ever bigger and frightful; the captured winds in the bag of Aeolus hurl themselves on the sea; the lure of the Sirens, seated between corals and opaline jellyfish, hypnotises you; and the shining Calypso, notwithstanding her blond grace and the surrounding flowers of an eternal spring, has a broken heart due to the hero’s rejection…

It’s hard to imagine a more convincing introduction to the Odyssey. And although events have been ordered diachronically, resulting in the loss of the flashbacks and flashforwards that characterise the typical circularity of the time of Ulysses, we capture the tragedy of the shipwreck at the glance, seeing him exiled in the waves of the vast Mediterranean Sea.

This little jewel – created by the Milan publishers of Elastico – will be precious for anyone who needs to engage young people with the works of Homer, as it is full of synthetic but intelligent page scenes and narrated by an assuring, fluid and relaxed voice, while containing a coherent selection of the story’s episodes.

The simple and moving digital story allows any of us to seed the taste for literature with children and pupils, paving their way into the pages of poetry.

And hopefully they will start to love other literature as well.

The Voyage of Ulysses (available in English and Italian) cost 3.99 Euro (4.99 USD).

But even if it costed 10, it would be worth purchasing…

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