Before Naples

By

Parthenope was one of the local Sirens who in Book XII of the Odyssey, and many variant versions of the story, sang songs to lure the Greek hero Odysseus to his doom, not anticipating that he would block the seductive sound by filling his sailors’ ears with wax. In shame at her poor defensive performance she hurled herself from her cliff, akatapontismos that made her “tomb” a fine foundation stone for a new Greek city.

In the Times Literary Supplement, Peter Stothard explores the literary foundations of one of the Western world’s oldest continually occupied cities.


P.E. Garcia is an Editorial Assistant for The Rumpus and the Dead Letters Editor for the Offing. His writing has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Prairie Schooner, and more. His chapbook is available from Awst Press. Born and raised in Arkansas, he now lives in Philadelphia where he's a PhD student at Temple University. Find him on Twitter @AvantGarcia. More from this author →