"'Can we know the future? Mostly not, it seems. And often it takes us entirely by surprise. But we do regularly make two quite contradictory assumptions about it: that it is unknowable, and that once it's here we saw it coming.'
That tone -- conversational, humane -- pervades the chapters of Michael Woods latest book, The Road to Delphi: The Life and Afterlife of Oracles , and there is nothing remotely academic in Wood's soft-lit brilliance. And yet one is hard pressed to say precisely what The Road to Delphi is about. Yes, it does examine all kinds of oracular institutions and instances; it offers insightful interpretations of very different works of art; and it's replete with appealing observations. "