You may have misunderstood. Being pre-Parry, Butler doesn't seem to have given much thought to the question of oral vs. written composition. His main point - that for which he is famous, and (at the time) controversial - is rather that the Odyssey was written by a woman (apparently not 'Homer', who for Butler seems to be - as far as I can tell, not having read his whole book - the poet of the Iliad and a different person).Samuel Butler believed that Homer wrote the Odyssey. He made an interesting case that can send some into paroxysms of anger a century later.
I think it makes sense to learn some other form of Greek first - perhaps any other form of Greek first! Learning Homeric Greek through prose makes no sense, because it's not a language that is adapted to or ever used for it. I wouldn't have thought that Attic textbooks would be in short supply. The Vivarium Novum edition of Athenaze, for example, is very good, and online if you know where to look. It's a reader (essentially like Familia Romana) rather than having prose composition, but the latter could be fulfilled by eg. North and Hillard.My goal was just to learn Ancient Greek as one learns Latin. I would’ve gone with Attic but this was what I found...it seems easier...but maybe that’s not good in the long run...
That being said, reading Homer would be great.
Butler does discuss oral tradition. He believes that the Iliad developed that way.You may have misunderstood. Being pre-Parry, Butler doesn't seem to have given much thought to the question of oral vs. written composition. His main point - that for which he is famous, and (at the time) controversial - is rather that the Odyssey was written by a woman (apparently not 'Homer', who for Butler seems to be - as far as I can tell, not having read his whole book - the poet of the Iliad and a different person).
Given that Butler's main argument is that women are prominent in the Odyssey, and consequently it can't possibly have been produced by a man, it's hardly surprising that it hasn't caught on.
The key point with respect to the Odyssey and Iliad is that which Milman Parry and his successors elucidated - namely that they originate in oral traditional poetry, and whoever crafted them was conversant with the techniques of oral poetry and its formulaic language. This doesn't mean that the poet(s) didn't write them, and some have still argued this (the late Martin West, for example, in his monumental commentaries), but there are a multitude of competing theories as to how they came to be recorded (memorisation, crystallization, dictation, and variations thereupon) and in most of them the poet does not personally write. More importantly, the poet must have developed the underlying material, and probably the structural frame of the poems themselves, through a number of performances over many years, in which the delivery was exclusively oral.
Is that the Academia version?I downloaded the Athenaze book that Godmy posted.
Milman Parry's contributions - with a lot of evidence and analysis - are collected in Parry, M. (1971). The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry (Oxford). But the best book to go to on the oral theory is Lord, A. B. (1960). The Singer of Tales (Cambridge, Mass.). The West books I'm referring to are The Making of the Iliad (2011) and The Making of the Odyssey (2014).I will check Milman Parry as well as Martin West. Can you give me the specific titles? I'm familiar with West but not Parry.