Abstract

Erich Auerbach's famous comparative study of Homer and the Bible, "Odysseus' Scar," argues that their contrastive styles derive from the different possibilities available to oral tradition and literature. In support of this thesis, I invoke two theories of verbal art: Walter Benjamin's description of the storyteller's craft, and Victor Shklovsky's definition of art as "defamiliarization." Through a comparative analysis of the use of type-scenes in Homer and in biblical narrative, I demonstrate how Homer is a traditional storyteller, practicing an "art of the familiar," whereas biblical narrative "defamiliarizes" traditional forms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 103-117
Launched on MUSE
2004-05-12
Open Access
No
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