The Unknown Odysseus
Alternate Worlds in Homer's Odyssey
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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For the Greek hero, to be unsung is to be as good as dead. Nowhere does this equation seem to be more true than in the Odyssey, where a major theme is the equation of anonymity with nonexistence. Not only...
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I began writing this book during a research leave granted by Oberlin College in 1999ââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬âââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Åâââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Åâââââ¬Å¡¬Åâââ¬Åâ2000 and continued my work during the fall semester of 2001 when I was James Doliver Visiting Professor of Humanities at...
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Part One: The Making of Odysseus
Chapter One: The Hero Emerges
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"Odysseus" exists in the minds of modern readers as a finished character: we know all about him. But of course we are seeing the hero from the far end of a long tradition.1 Any particular realization evolves as...
Chapter Two: Odysseus At Work
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Having brought him into being, the poet sends his creation back into the world of time and change, where who he is will always be at issue on more than one level. Odysseus faces death in a physical sense...
Part Two: The Unmaking of Odysseus
Chapter Three: Subversive Anonymity
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Anonymity carries a potent meaning in the Odyssey. To the hero intent on winning kleos, being nameless is the same as being dead. If the time for dying has come, then better always to leave this world in the...
Chapter Four: Constructed Lives
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Book 13 marks the return of Odysseus to Ithaka and the return of Athena to the story. As she becomes more visible, the goals of the return plot come to the fore. From now on, we will be reminded...
Chapter Five: The Ward of Hermes
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The story of Odysseus' naming reveals a telling connection on his mother's side of the family.1 As the old nurse washes the beggar's feet, she comes upon the scar (19.392 - 98)...
Chapter Six: Sleepers Awake
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The Odyssey begins with the question: where is Odysseus? As the story unfolds, a second, more difficult quandary surfaces: who is Odysseus? By the time the disguised hero reaches the threshold of his...
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To make one's way in the Odyssey requires a good story. Escaping a monster's cave, angling for a boat ride, earning a meal all depend on creating a world with words. Not surprisingly, the best storyteller in...
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Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2009