+0
“Its subject(to use Maynard Mack’s categories)is ‘life-as-spectacle’ for readers, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without ; the tragic Iliad, however, presents ‘life-as-experience’: readers are asked to identify with the mind of Achilles, whose motivations render him a not particularly likable hero.”

Is there something wrong with the phrase “ observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without”?

I think it should be “Its subject is ‘life-as-spectacle’ for readers, (who are) diverted by its various incidents to observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without.”
Comments  
Hello Jeff

Your question is always difficult. I would like to paraphrase this one as;

The Odyssey's subject is 'life-as-spectacle' for readers who, though they might be diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without. On the other hand, 'life-as-experience' is the subject of the tragic Iliad, where readers are asked to identify with the mind of Achilles, whose motivations render him a not particularly likable hero.

What I cannot get here is "observe Odysseus from without". Is it "observe Odysseus from a position where they can never live a life rich with spectacles"? I'd like to hear opinions from native speakers.

paco
I agree. There's something missing.

Its subject ... is ... for readers, who, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without; ...

CJ
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Here's an alternative:

"Its subject(to use Maynard Mack’s categories)is ‘life-as-spectacle’, for readers, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without ; the tragic Iliad, however, presents ‘life-as-experience’: readers are asked to identify with the mind of Achilles, whose motivations render him a not particularly likable hero.”

There's something faintly absurd in the implication that Achilles might have been a slightly more 'likable' ('nice'?) hero.

MrP
Thank you all.

But I still don’t get
“Its subject ... is ... for readers, who, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without;”
And it’s alternative one,
“Its subject(to use Maynard Mack’s categories)is ‘life-as-spectacle’, for readers, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without ;”

In the first one, CalifJim added a comma and “who”. But in the second one MrPedantic just added a comma after “’life-as-spectacle’”. Both of them will make the sentence complete? Why I don’t see that happen? Could you please help analyze it?

{As for the first one “Its subject ... is ... for readers, who, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without;”, if we add are before diverted , it’ll become more understandable to me.}
Hello Jeff

I think MrP took 'for' as a conjunctive in the sense of "because". You can't align two independent predicative clauses "are diverted by its various incidents" and "observe Odysseus" in parallel. "Diverted by its various incidents" is working here as an adverbial participle clause.

paco
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Paco puts it better than I could. I meant this sense:

"Its subject(to use Maynard Mack’s categories)is ‘life-as-spectacle’, since readers (diverted by its various incidents) observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without..."

MrP
Thank you!

What about CalifJim's? Emotion: smile