In the twentieth century, both Nikos Kazantzakis and James Joyce undertook their own modern versions of Homer's Odyssey. When compared using the formulations of T. E. Hulme regarding romanticism and classicism, the heroes of these two works take seemingly opposite paths. While Kazantzakis's Odysséas goes on a romantic journey, abandoning Ithaca and Penelope for an increasingly solitary spirituality, Joyce's "Ulysses" (Leopold Bloom) assumes a classical approach to spiritual awakening, relishing in the imperfections of Dublin and its citizens. This romantic/classical comparison collapses, however, when considered in the light of Henri Bergson's time theory. Now it reveals a common struggle to surpass humanity's fragmented "clock time" and reach the enlightened state of "real time," an inexpressible duration that flows beneath imperfect clock time. Both heroes discover this state through the silence at their journeys' end. While Odysséas's silence comes at the price of death, Bloom's is a moment of being that may be emulated by all humanity, rendering Joyce's "Ulysses" the more satisfying of the two.


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pp. 247-264
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