Bearing in mind as is pointed out in the introduction that the Russian critic Belinsky thought that Tara Bulba was a “splendid epic worthy of Homer” it seems appropriate to read this book after Joyce’s Ulysses while still trying to find time to finish Homer’s Odyssey.
The introduction puts the book about Ukrainian Cossacks into context with them fighting both Poles and Turks for independence from the former and security from the later and explains that they were a people proud of their freedom and customs and very much into the idea of waging war
Bullet points between pages 1 – 27
* The scene is set with Taras Bulba greeting his two sons who are returning from the seminary their education complete but in his enthusiasm to make real men of them their father decides that the very next day they will ride out to the Cossacks military camp
* Despite breaking the heart of the mother the Cossacks head out for the military camp and as they go you get the back story of Taras who is a Cossack that very much believes in living by the sword, the sons one an intellectual and the other a ladies man in the making
* The stage is set for some action as the brothers and father enter the camp, which rings out to the sounds of blacksmiths hammering swords and Cossack dancing