The Paris Review

Travel Snapshots from an Odyssey

Daniel Mendelsohn’s memoir, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, begins when his eighty-one-year-old father, Jay Mendelsohn, enrolls in Daniel’s undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey. From those risky beginnings, the two embark on an intellectual journey that becomes an emotional one, and then a literal one, when they take a cruise designed to retrace Odysseus’s steps through the Mediterranean. Below, Mendelsohn shares photos from that cruise. He described them to us over the phone, from Canada, as he shuffled from one book-tour event to another. —Ed.

June 19, 2011: the day we embarked on the cruise.

This photo is from the day we arrived in Athens to embark on the cruise. One of the things that amused me the most about my dad was his indefatigable attachment to both his camera and his iPad, without which he never traveled. It’s funny because the opening of the emphasizes two things about Odysseus:, ad? And he replied, Everything is part of this experience. Which was a very Odysseus-like attitude, actually. So I took a picture of him taking a picture of the boat. We hadn’t even boarded yet.

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