This hero of this modern Odyssey is an updated equivalent of the swineherd Eumaeus, an illiterate, near idiotic provincial named Piotr Niewiadomski. Indeed, the town of Ulysses in Tompkins County, Ithaca, is one of several in a chunk of New York state gifted to soldiers in reward for securing the new nation. The name was chosen by a land commissioner named Robert Harper, who looked to heroic names associated with Greece and Rome after rejecting the associations of either British or Native American nomenclature. The near-mythic status of the Civil War has become a substitute for the legendary Trojan War.
Horace knew the dead man intimately, and since he bears a visual resemblance to him, he returns in his place to his wife and son after the Civil War. It conveys the desperate situation at the end of the war; there are marauding Confed- erate soldiers, failed crops, newly liberated but destitute blacks, derelict buildings and grim scenes in the gaol. The whole community, white and black alike, is starving. The suitor is a Bible-punching minister, played with menace by Jack Pullman, and the showdown between the rivals for Penelope takes place in her rundown barn.
He is also forced to kill the household dog, who of course does not recognize him, in a poignant rewriting of the Argos scene with which this chapter began. But the parallels with the Odyssey had been noticed, and were elaborated by the time Odysseus — and Arnaud de Tihl — found themselves transplanted to Tennessee. It is, again, the end of the Civil War, and a destitute soldier is returning, although this Odysseus, a carpenter called Inman Jude Law , is no impostor. The connection with the Odyssey is more explicit in the novel, in the opening hospital sequence of which Inman meets one man who has tried to learn Greek and another who is blind.
Frazier imagines how the uneducated Ruby would have reacted. She concluded that, all in all, not much had altered in the way of things despite the passage of a great volume of time. Here the war that has scarred the hero is Vietnam; Ulee Jackson Peter Fonda lost all his friends in combat. The location this time is the Florida panhandle of the tupelo swamplands, where Ulee ekes out a livelihood from his ancestral trade of beekeeping.
In a sense this Odysseus is more of a Laertes, retired to his small-holding, especially since his wife Penelope died several years ago. Ulee struggles to raise his granddaugh- ters, Casey and Penny, abandoned to his care after his daughter-in-law — Helen — vanished two years previously she is hooked on heroin and staying with lowlife criminals in Orlando. There is a confrontation between Ulee and the criminals, who take a suitor-like role in invading his house and taking the womenfolk captive. Another darkly comic work is the bizarre Cannibal: The Musical!
Circe is an ex-slave living on in the decaying mansion of her deceased masters. She helps the wanderer Milkman Dead metamorphose from a thuggish narcissist into a sensitive man. This benevolent servile-class Circe has devoted her life to avenging slavery. It was immediately linked with the Odyssey,26 a poem whose evocation of landscape had been praised by Wenders in a speech delivered in He is also the spirit of Berlin, who laments the vanishing of the city in the war.
This Odysseus has fallen on hard times. A former star in Westerns, at the age of 60 he has only drugs, booze and sex to help him face his declining career. He gradually loses his movie star identity, acquiring the clothes of a ranch hand and taking the most demotic form of transport — the Grey- hound — to his hometown in Elko, Nevada. Learning that he has a child in a depressed Montana ghost town, he tracks down his ex-lover and his son. In Naked, Johnny David Thewlis is a Mancu- nian drifter who, apparently after committing a violent rape, steals a car and drives to London.
He heads for the home of his old girlfriend Louise. This is a result not of any statement by the director, nor any mention of such a parallel in the publicity literature. This conclusion becomes almost impos- sible to avoid during the encounter between Johnny and the waitress. The sitting room is littered with Greek souvenirs, statuettes of gods and hoplites, and translations of Greek authors including a copy of E.
Johnny is a knowing protagonist, and his references to philosophical questions or literary allu- sions create a collusive bond between him and the viewer. All this is delivered in a stream of deadpan irony. While waiting for Louise to come home from work, he has sex with the temporary lodger, Sophie, a Goth drug addict sporting a Siren-like bird tattoo. She spends much of the movie trying to regain his sexual atten- tion again, frustrated by his deep emotional bond with Louise.
She thus synthesizes Siren, lotus-eater, Circe and Calypso. She reminds him not only of his mother, but of his dead mother, and of death. Jeremy, an upper-class sadist, represents the worst aspects of the suitors. The scene is set for what should be the show- down in which Johnny, loved by both women, discovers his inner hero and ousts the rival. It is the marvellous Louise whose raw courage and psychological cunning drive Jeremy away.
The questions Johnny raises include the existence of god, the imminent demise of the human race and the impossibility of reincar- nation. His enemy is boredom unemployed and working class, he comments wryly on how much training is required for manual tasks. It is set in a low-income high-rise housing estate on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Homer has been able to transcend class barriers because people of all social classes, at least at times, have had access to him.
The missiles went whizzing athwart his pages. W hen Odysseus expresses this metaphysical opinion, he is still dressed in rags.
The Odyssey and philosophy have been inseparable since antiquity, partly because the Platonic tradition built Homer up as a semi-divine wise man, a tendency encouraged by epic episodes dealing with song. The solution is technological — wax ear-stoppers and bonds attached to the mast. There are still a few intelligent heroes today. Marina Warner laments that we have forgotten the role model of the trickster,4 and it is true that the intellectual Odysseus did not get a good press in the twentieth century.
As the wily hero, beloved of Athena, the goddess of applied technology and stra- tegic planning see Fig. Odysseus convinces Polyphemus that everything he can perceive by his senses, including the Greeks, is an image created by his imagination. It has come under suspicion because of its elision by Nazi ideologues with the ideas of Lebensraum and the German nationalist cult of regionalism, but it also has a philosophical resonance that transcends nationalities and can help explain the intellectual stamina of the Odyssey. Yet Heimat, for Heidegger, only exists from the perspective of one who has already lost it, and becomes therefore the domain of poetry: everything that great poets say is viewed from the perspective of homesickness and is summoned into language by pain.
Art is that Ithaca Of green eternity, not of wonders. To the myth of Ulysses returning to Ithaca, I would oppose the history of Abraham leaving his country forever for an unknown land, and forbidding his servant to lead even his son back to this point of departure. Consequently, gaining new insights can be described as the event of homecoming.
Yet cognitive processes are addressed more emphatically in the Odyssey than in other archaic poetry. When the Greeks did invent formal philosophy, categories of ques- tion emerged that are still addressed by philosophers today: how should we live? Here Ulysses shows himself not only a superb rhetorician, but a clear-thinking political theorist. Political theory was one of the earliest branches of philosophical ethics, and indeed it has recently been argued that the underlying political argument of the Odyssey needs more atten- tion. The imperial Roman letters attributed to the Cynics use Ulysses in rags as the incarnation of the austerity they advocated.
The dialogue reminds the reader of a Platonic enquiry. Female beasts are braver than female humans. Animals are more temperate and do not desire material possessions; animals have no need for perfumes; animals do not deceptively commit adultery; animals do not have sex except in order to procreate and do not practise homosexuality or sex outside their species which Gryllus contrasts with the human devi- ants who practise zoophilia ; animals stick to simple diets, have the right amount of intelligence for their natural conditions of life and therefore must be credited with rationality.
Ulisse is no symbol of ideal monarchy, endowed with divine gifts. En route he encounters the Phaeacia-like, utopian prov- ince of El Dorado as well as menacing examples of excessive religious zeal — unchristian Benedictines, Franciscans and Jesuits. It was a satirical touch to do this by inspecting them from the perspective of an innocent. But Homeric epic was far more often seen as monarchist in sympathy, and usually adopted by those wishing to argue against republics and radical democracies.
Tolkien, who learned much about the art of storytelling from the device of the polyglot potsherd with which She opens. Here the hope is for the deathlessness bestowed on the makers of an enduring artwork. In the extended scene in the projection room, there is a focus on the existen- tial status — ontology — of stories, texts, images and movies.
The hero of the Odyssey, by rejecting immortality, comes to under- stand mortal existence. Er dies in battle and his soul departs his body, before returning to life and telling what had happened to him. He describes the judgement of the souls of the departed in an aperture between the Underworld and heaven.
The process continues for a thousand years before the souls are reincar- nated. Er then tells of the planetary system of the cosmos, the spindle of Necessity, and her daughters, the Fates, spinning out destinies: one of them, Lachesis, told all the souls to choose a lot of a life. Ajax chose to become a lion, and Thersites a monkey, but Odysseus chose the life of a private man to whom nothing much happens — a more powerful statement of his preference for mortality with the middle-aged Penelope to death- lessness with Calypso.
Plato had learned from Homer that myth could be a useful vehicle for examining metaphysical subjects inaccessible to the senses and the intellect, such as the nature of the soul and the distant past and future. The tradition came to a climax with Neoplatonism, which fused the study of Plato with Pythagorean readings of Homer, and had an ines- timable impact on Christian ideas. Ithaca thus metaphorically represents union with the divine.
This cave is an alle- gory, according to Porphyry, of the physical universe — it is lovely but it is also murky. The olive tree represents the divine wisdom that informs the universe and yet is separate from it. When Athena tells Odysseus to hide his goods in the cave, Homer is saying that we need to lay aside our outward possessions in order to think about how to cut away all the destructive passions of the soul. The soul thus goes on an epistemological odyssey as it passes through the successive stages by which knowledge is attained — sensations, images, opinions, sciences, discur- sive reasoning, to pure Intellect.
The allegorical approach to the Odyssey as inherited from the Neoplatonists also dominated its Renaissance and Early Modern reception at least until Giambattista Vico. When drawing his crucial distinction between sense and reference, Frege looked for an example of a sentence that contains a name that has never had any real-world bearer. Frege asserted that such a sentence fails to be true or false: it has a sense that we can understand, but no reference in the real world.
Rassinier, a survivor of Buchenwald and Dora concen- tration camps, always decried the brutality he had seen, and had his health broken by the experience. Even bending the bow is much. The arrow will still be an Arrow if found among rushes.
Truth dressed as a lie is still truth. Said it and rose. The earlier Surrealists believed that the truest understanding of existence could be attained through artistic expression of the images produced by the unconscious mind. The author draws atten- tion to the absence of causal links in the dreamlike world of Surrealism. Perhaps this means that language is the wrong way to go about trying to communicate the nature of its reality. Or there again, perhaps not! When two ancient personages meet. Too many children know my story. Angelopoulos invites his viewers to meditate, through his Balkan Odyssey, on the twentieth-century relationship between cinema and the way that each of us comes to know both history and our individual selfhood.
The nature of our society is such that we are prevented from knowing who we are. It is still a young society, and this is an integral part of its development. We are fortunate as American writers in that with our variety of racial and national traditions, idioms and manners, we are yet one. In the next chapter, the subjective and emotional resonances of the themes of exile and return will be added to the picture. The man sat crying on the headland, as often before, racking his soul with tears, groaning in agony, weeping as he scanned the horizon of the barren sea.
One of the most important poetic responses to the Odyssey was written in Greek, by a Greek who did not live in Greece. Arrival there is your predestination. But do not hurry the journey at all. Ithaka has given you your lovely journey. Without Ithaka you would not have set out. Ithaka has no more to give you now. The poem, formally speaking Symbolist, reveals Cavafy discovering his later, more self-aware and cynical voice. During most of them he lived in Alexandria with his mother and two of his brothers, Paul who was, like Constantine, homosexual and John-Constantine who was, like Constantine, a man of letters.
He must have felt as if he had wandered ever further from Ithaca, his comrades falling around him. He cut back on his social activities and devoted himself to writing poetry. He adopted this spelling when his widowed mother took him at the age of nine, along with her other sons, to live in Liverpool they subsequently moved to London.
Cavafy was also aware that Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great, had always been part of the Hellenic diaspora, indeed originally a colony of Macedon. This was after an ancient, grey- haired man Homer appeared to him in a dream to recite lines from the Odyssey about the location of the island of Pharos 4. Alexander woke up, travelled to Pharos and decreed that his city would be built on that spot; the reasons for admiring Homer, he said, included his excel- lence as an architect Life of Alexander The poem is often discussed in connec- tion with the idea of nostalgia in its literal sense of painful longing for home, but the term is not an ancient one.
The word nostos is related to the name Nestor — a man who returned satisfactorily to his homeland after the Trojan expedition. But it is also related to other important words occurring in the Odyssey, especially neomai come, go, arrive and noein to have an accurate mental percep- tion of a person or situation. All three terms seem to derive from a root in what linguists call Proto-Indo-European PIE , the common ancestral language that needs to be hypothesized in order to make sense of the similarities between Greek and Sanskrit.
Odysseus achieves a successful homecoming because he has a record of exceptionally accurate mental perceptions of situations, and the ability to act on those perceptions. Cunning Odysseus of the many resources is presupposed by the Odysseus who can successfully return. The traditional Mediterranean story of the return by sea is earlier by far than the Homeric epics. An ancient Egyptian prose tale called The Ship- wrecked Sailor has been preserved on a papyrus of the Middle Kingdom i. The snake comforted him, prophesied that he would return to Egypt, and bestowed gifts on him.
The prediction proved true and the man returned home. The person to whom he relates this tale is another nostos-man, an Egyptian sea captain who has returned from an ill-fated voyage to Nubia and dare not tell the pharaoh. Besides resemblances between this story and several of the tales both true and false about Odysseus in the Odyssey, there are parallels with the autobio- graphical story related by Menelaus to Telemachus — one nostos-man to another — in Books 3—4. The exciting nostos story was no exclusively Greek tradition. There were also Greek nostos poems that preceded the creation of the great Homeric epics.
Some scholars think that there was once a single, recognizable epic called Returns in the plural, a cycle of loosely connected tales of individual heroes produced by a longstanding tradition of oral performance. The journey homeward is the permutation of the quest myth that has attracted attention from Jungian psychoanalytical theorists.
The ego emerges from a pre-egoic state, but can learn what is necessary for individuation and maturation by exploring that early state of blissful unity and inexperience. Trying to regain spiritual unity with humankind and to pursue happiness — to return to Eden — is thus in one sense a return, but it is return to a home that we have remade because we can never regain preconsciousness. Some Jungian critics fuse their concept of the evolution of conscious- ness as instantiated in mythical archetypes with other notions, developed in Perennial Philosophy; this label was given by the German thinker Gottfried Leibniz to the system of ideas universal to mankind, especially those of a mystical nature, that underlie all world religions.
Odysseus is repeatedly threatened with forces that will overwhelm him, just as individuals and the human race have been, but he never succumbs, even at the darkest moment of contact with the dead, where he could so easily lose all touch with objective reality and the world of human action. He is perceived to be so important to understanding the fundamental storyline of many American movies that Mackey-Kallis devotes a chapter of her book to analysing the Odyssey before discussing them.
Although this psychoanalytical model can seem to non-Jungians rather nebulous, it does at least attempt to explain why a certain kind of plot pattern is felt to be so perennially satisfying in cinema, a medium inti- mately bound up with our fantasy and dream lives. The Jungian Ithaca is a positive destination to be sought assiduously, but for many twentieth-century interpreters of the Odyssey, especially subsequent to the Second World War, Ithaca inevitably disappoints. A child falls and hurts his leg. This shows no fracture, but away from the site of the injury there seems to be an abnormal area of bone.
Blood tests and scans fail to iden- tify what it might be, so the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon is sought.
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A departure and return. And possibly that is the oldest story … We began to travel during World War II, and we have not stopped since. He and his son Telemachus the narrator are obsessed with returning to Jerusalem. He is shocked by how small and shabby the house in which he grew up now seems. Irena has been in Paris, and Josef in Denmark. They had met many years before, in a Prague nightclub, but only Irena recalls this. They come to understand that they can never resume the history interrupted by their departure. The redemptive reconciliation with their earlier selves, the ones that belonged to Prague, does not occur.
Josef, who has been reading a translation of the Odyssey in his adopted language of Danish ,25 fails to recognize even the buildings and landscape of his homeland. At this agonizing moment, the novel puts its over-arching questions explicitly: Would an Odyssey even be conceivable today? Is the epic of the return still pertinent to our time? Against a background of deep snow, this frail person is desperate to be reunited with the sister from whom she was separated 47 years previ- ously by the civil war.
Lenin, are pulled down everywhere. As early as Book I, Chapter 2. I miss my islands. Several of the most touching passages of the poem relate to Maud, dreaming of Ireland and playing Airs from Erin on her piano. The Erin of the ballads Maud plays is her long-lost Ithaca, but it is a fantasy. There is no sentiment attached to the brutality with which Fergus is severed from his family, his roots, his mountain home in County Clare and his sweetheart Phoebe.
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He has sexual relationships, but this Odyssey-novel faces the emotional experiences of exile with more honesty than many. It could sew you up with a couple of stones then drop you into the ocean. It would not remember your name. Odysseus arrives anxiously on new islands, unsure of what reception he will receive, helpless and vulnerable. Iizuka, as a Japanese-American dramatist, has special- ized in the experiences of mixed-race societies, but she studied Classics at college and wanted to fuse her social agenda with a reading of the Odyssey.
But Odysseus was not the only exile: the produc- tion emphasized that the unfortunate Trojans could never return to their homelands again. T his is how the audience of the Odyssey visualizes its hero, through the eyes of his nurse Eurycleia, after the last suitor has been slaugh- tered. Eurymachus, the greatest threat to Odysseus, had died in agony when an arrow pierced his liver, leaving him to writhe Melanthius, the treacherous goatherd, was suspended from the roof to die a slow death under torture Ithaka back to peace and rightful government.
Although under- stood to be the climax of the poem, and therefore popular with illustrators of printed editions see Fig. Unforgiven builds up to a climax in which a patient and cunning man a pig-farmer, actually , avenging an assault on his household, woman, children and property, exacts a brutal reprisal on the hate-object Little Bill Daggett Gene Hackman. Like Odysseus and the suitors, the hero and the villain in these plots are funda- mentally similar: they share the same social class, ethnicity, skills, weap- onry and value systems.
Indeed, it is his prowess as a combat hero against odds so ridiculous that they would put the heroes played by Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame. Yet the moral probity of the violence to which the hero resorts is undermined because he becomes just as ruthless as his adversaries. They could run New York City. The bloody climax of the Odyssey has nevertheless proved almost too vicious for straightforward representation.
Arnaud really was a man of Odyssean resourcefulness and resilience. He insisted he was Martin Guerre in the face of the testimony of dozens of witnesses over the course of two trials, and would probably have won his case if the real one had not turned up. Arnaud de Tihl had to be hanged.
But if he and Bertrande were in collusion, he died without betraying her: like Penelope in the Odyssey, we are not sure how much Bertrande knew, and when. This true story, which contains hardly any violence, can be reconstructed in such detail because the judge in the second trial left a written record, so amazed had he been by the performance of de Tihl — his brain power, his memory and his courage see pp A second strategy that has been adopted by adaptors uneasy with the original epic storyline has been wholesale erasure.
The most sanitized Odysseus of all time must be Inman in the novel and movie Cold Moun- tain also discussed on pp There is only one suitor Teague , and despite the appalling conduct shown by him and his gang, there is no sense of the emotional need for revenge on the part of either Ada or Inman. There is no neglected child and no failure on the part of the estranged lovers to recognize one another. Inman refrains from sex with anybody until his reunion with Ada, despite opportunities in a whore-house and with an attractive young widow, alongside whom implausibly he sleeps fully clothed.
Elders of the Inuit people were in other respects consulted on every detail of this painstaking reconstruction of life in the Canadian Arctic before the missionaries came. The legend, perhaps four millennia old, has Atanarjuat set up in a situation, complete with concealed weapons, in which his three enemies are at his mercy.
The villains, although driven from the community, are alive and forgiven. I have come into a cemetery, and I am the gravedigger. But he is far less convinced that he can win by sheer physical supe- riority, and cheats in the contest of the bow by trying out his strength secretly beforehand. Buero Vallejo was himself imprisoned and sentenced to death a sentence even- tually commuted for his support of the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, and he elides Odysseus with the repressions of the Franco regime.
The patriarchal monarch of Ithaca has become a twentieth-century totalitar- ian dictator, and the violence he perpetrates is that of a vindictive tyrant who had been, it is implied, legitimately ousted by more peaceable men. What interests him is how to treat — and prevent — psychological injury to military personnel. He does not know how to delegate and share responsibility. The men were Special Forces soldiers who had recently returned from Afghanistan. What interests Shay, rather, are the feelings veterans express towards two particular groups. First, young men who avoided being called up become objects of envy and schadenfreude, curiously focused often on the pleasure they can take in regular meals.
They are numerically far superior. The Odyssey makes perfect emotional sense in certain political contexts. Shelley longed for a return of Odysseus, with all the bloodshed it might entail, if it meant that Greece might expel her Ottoman rulers and be free. He laughed aloud. China needs its own Odysseus, urgently! The Odyssey, at least, has the honesty to look this most incendiary situation straight in its human face.
It involves a phallic symbol, physical contact, a beautiful woman being humiliated and a sado-masochistic undercurrent. This is all arguably more exciting than the elegant song performed by the bard in Phaeacia about the Olympian adultery that Aphrodite committed with Ares 8. The story of a Greek sailor who jumps ship in New York to avenge the rape and murder of his sister, the wanderings involve various seedy contexts in New York City, and his high-voltage relationship with a Greek immi- grant woman named Nike.
It seems that twentieth-century directors did not know what to do with adulterous sluts however gorgeous reunited domestically, unpun- ished, with their middle-aged husbands. NBC seem to have agreed, for the sole joint publicity photo, which was widely reproduced, is the inter-racial embrace of this unforget- table Calypso and the exhausted Odysseus. A tradition had developed already by Hellenistic times that Penelope had not been faithful, indeed had given birth to the god Pan after sleep- ing with all the suitors.
These conventionally included titillating breeches roles for pretty actresses, as well as male drag acts and suggestive innuendo. This show therefore involved a woman dressed as a man climbing in a window, and a man dressed as a woman reclining on a bed to await an amorous encounter. Lang had himself trans- lated the Odyssey and written a book-length prose poem entitled Helen of Troy. If the presiding goddess of the Odyssey is Athena, she is emphatically ousted in this sequel by Aphrodite.
This eroticized sequel to the Odyssey was related to the vogue in the visual arts and photography for scenes from mythology, itself a symptom of the gender politics of later nineteenth-century society. The threat felt to be posed by Circe and the Sirens to the virile power of Odysseus and his crewmen expressed this conviction. Although desperately unhappy with this development, Bloom does nothing to prevent it, and drifts all day around Dublin as Odysseus wandered the Mediterranean.
The novel ends with a shift in the emotional status quo, and a hope that Bloom can restart his sexual relationship with Molly and even try for another child, thus recovering, like Odysseus, his status as man of the household in its fullest sense. This notoriously takes the form of a stream-of- consciousness monologue, with no punctuation until the full stop at the end, and only eight paragraph breaks. The contested question is not whether Molly is masturbat- ing, fantasizing or recollecting, but the identity of the man in her fantasy. There have been few permutations of sexual relationships and part- ner that have not found expression through responses to the Odyssey.
Where is that man now Who in his exile wandered night and day Over the world like a wild dog, and would say His name was No One, No One, anyhow? But before the home- coming can be achieved and the appropriate wife discovered, the hero Quoyle played by Kevin Spacey has to come to terms with the end of his seven-year relationship with a sexual temptress. Quoyle falls hopelessly for a young woman named Petal, who turns out to be psychotic.
Eventually he is saved by the love of a Penelope-like single mother and truly comes home in both the literal and psychological senses of the phrase. The father and daughter shared a passion for literature. She suddenly stopped playing the role of Telemachus — confused child of an errant father — and became Odysseus: I embarked that day on an odyssey which, consisting as it did in a gradual, episodic, and inevitable convergence with my abstracted father, was very nearly as epic as the original.
Yet in a curious way his psychological presence is still inspira- tion and comfort. Odysseus himself is in the ancient sources emphatically heterosex- ual. The novel sets the Greek story of Odysseus, Neoptolemus and Philoctetes in contemporary North American gay culture, with the self-important heterosexual Odys- seus confused by its conventions and values. The black transsexual Rosean is Athena, the Cyclops is the promiscuous heterosexual bruiser Nick, whose CMV makes him blind, and the all-powerful doctor is Zeus. Some images from the Odyssey — for example, being lashed to a mast — receive new sexual conno- tations.
Ulysses, whose oiled pectorals are displayed to advantage in the archery scene, himself dreams of young men, while remaining — as usual — functionally heterosexual. In the epic, of course there is technically speaking no zoophilia human sex with animals , since Circe only sleeps with Odysseus, and not the men she has changed into pigs. This is not, technically speaking, zoophilia, since no physical human is involved.
But the combination of a human consciousness and the subjective description of what it feels like to be a priapic boar covering a hormone-crazed sow on heat is arguably more obscene. Even in the respectable company of classical and Renaissance scholar- ship, faint hits of unusual sexual fantasies are occasionally discernible. More recently the nekuia has been read as the scene of ultimate horror during the Holocaust. Odysseus and his men arrive at the river Oceanus in the eternal dark- ness of Cimmerian land. With his own sword he cuts the throats of a ram and a black ewe. They came in their hordes from every direction and hovered round the trench, screaming weirdly.
And my fear was green. He wants cremation with all his weapons, and a stone raised to signify his fame, the tomb itself to be surmounted by the oar which he wielded in life. By beginning the catalogue of the dead whom Odysseus meets with this relatively low-status individual, the human tone of the nekuia is established at its outset.
Elpenor says that he believes he is in Hell, because it is full of important and rich dead people, and Also the young men Their rears strung out on the fences Watching for shifts in the breeze: And beyond under the lee the Actual dead: the millions Only a god could have killed 28— Yet in Modernist poetry, the nekuia often refers to the process of artis- tic production itself. They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more. But, paradoxically, much of this sense has been provided by the collectively held notion that the Second World War somehow represented the greatest journey into darkness ever taken by the human race — the death of millions in Russia, the nuclear bombs in Japan and the Holocaust.
Falconer is surely correct in arguing that the war created a rupture in the Western philosophical tradition by making it impossible to conduct metaphysical enquiries without the spectre of the Holocaust: we all now feel trapped, like survivors of Hades. Three months later he completed his literary response to the experi- ence of total annihilation in Der Untergang, translated as The End, which includes profound Homeric reverberations. The narrator, a lone survivor like Odysseus, wanders alone through a devastated world, unsure whether he is alive or dead, searching for home and family.
It was inmates of the concentration camps of the Second World War — the few who stayed alive — who put the seal on our new meaning of the idea of survival. Dante will not have been able to read the Odyssey, and had acquired his knowledge of Ulysses through the Roman tradition and medi- eval versions of the Troy story see pp His guide through Inferno and Purgatory is not Homer but Virgil. Yet his accounts of his experiences in Auschwitz and on the road home after liberation are also informed by the Odyssey.
I will tell you of a very plain sign that you will not be able to miss. The earth swims. Man yourselves, men. In a staggering 33, lines, dominated by the expectation of death,48 Odysseus sets Ithaca in order, abducts Helen, overthrows Minoan civilization, fails to overthrow the Egyptian kingdom, builds a utopian city, loses it in an eruption, and then gives up on society and becomes an ascetic.
Only now he is ready to reveal his true identity. The Homeric atmosphere pervades the memories of combat, of rescue as a young shipwrecked sailor by a Cornish cove lady, of his relationships with his father and his son, and above all his love for his wife. The title character is the ghost of a girl who died at the age of ten, run over by an ice-cream truck.
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The convoluted domestic comedy involves Penelope, whose macho adventurer husband Harold has been away in the Amazon for many years, but returns on his birthday to discover that his wife is surrounded by eager suitors and his son Paul has run away. It had never been picked up because the little girl had been killed. Just go ahead and do it.
Whoever you do it to should kiss you for doing it. The section on necromancy describes rites derived directly from the nekuia of the Odyssey: Souls of the dead are not to be called up without blood, or by the application of some part of their relict Body. In raising up these shadows, we are to perfume with new Blood, with the Bones of the dead, and with Flesh, Egges, Milk, Honey and Oile, and such-like things, which do attribute to the Souls a means apt to receive their Bodies.
Arthur Machen — actor, mystic and author of tales of the supernatural, admired by writers as disparate as Jorge Luis Borges and John Betjeman — remains a pioneering cult author in the areas of horror and fantasy. The reason is that nobody can explain in what the excellence of the poem consists: it is felt but can never be analysed adequately.
Gross , vii.
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See e. Longinus, On the Sublime 9.
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See McLaren , and below pp Liveley , —9. Sieber , The Immortal, section IV, in Borges See also the Plutarchean On Homer, ed. II, — 4. See Edith Hall , —8. See Routh , See Cysarz et al. See, for example, Burns and Young See Blok Callahan b , —3. Quoted in Gilmore-Baldwin Buch-Jepsen , See www. See Edith Hall c. Tom Smith For Nemesis see Cypria fr. Warner , 2. See Barta , 6.
Artemidorus, Oneirocritica 4. Antiphanes also wrote a Cyclopes. Sophocles fr. Theopompus fragment 34 KA. II, — See Figs. See pp See Selaiha See Paul The tradition that Helen never went to Troy, and spent the entire war in Egypt, was inaugurated by the Greek lyric poet Stesichorus in his Palinode of the seventh or early sixth century BCE. See Forrest , Rankine Valerie Smith See Thomsen Blok , with bibliography. It can be accessed at www. See Anon. Reproduced in ibid. Florence C. See the introduction to Bridges, Hall and Rhodes See the photograph reproduced in Hust , This can be heard at www.
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McKittrick Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ant. For a recent discussion of the importance of Odysseus to Latin literature and art, see Perutelli Farrell , Canto Seneca, Medea —9, translated by Fitch , See McBride , Winkler Eckstein ; Henderson For example, Wheat Landon , 3. Cyclops and Poseidon, in Dialogues of the Sea-Gods 2, Bader , 6. See further Edith Hall d. Zoilus of Amphipolis, a philosopher of the fourth century BCE, wrote an Encomium of Polyphemus, which sadly has not survived. See Zoilus, no. See Leroi Thanks to Margaret Malamud for this reference.
See further above pp and pp Wynter See Darius for a discussion of these and other similar interpretations. Berger NOTES Cyclopia, which is incompatible with life, also occurs but with extreme rarity in human foetuses. Mackie Letter to N. I, —5. Although see Tate Doherty , —4. See, for example, Fig. Dalby Aurora Leigh 7. See Murnaghan and Roberts I, lxci—lxx. See also Fig. See further Hall and Macintosh , chapter 3. Even in the third millennium versions of Penelope along these lines still appear: see, for example, Ramos See Heitman , 43—9. See John J.
Milligan and Hewlett See, for example, Heitman See Edith Hall b. Thanks to Joseph Platnauer for help on this topic. Frazier , 3, 6. See, for example, the review in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for 24 August Wenders In Essays II. See above pp. For an excellent discussion see Schlink Cookson Deneen See Montiglio , especially chapter 8. See also pp Spinoza , See, for example, Anon.
For a similar plot device in a more recent thriller dependent on the Odyssey see Manfredi Bell , Planinc See Brisson , chapter 7. See V. Unsworth ; see also Edith Hall , 24—5. On Wilson Harris see also pp , See further Anne Rutherford Makriyannakis Essex Return to Zion is included in Yellin Michelakis , Anne Rutherford See Choate Francis Lambrou , Fitch Green , For a sensitive reading, see Meg Harris Williams , chapter 6. Said Andrews Shubow See Riedel , Shay , 3—4. Rushdie , , It has happened already, the barbarians are here, inside the Gates.
They will take it, exploit it and corrupt it as much as they possibly can without any moral, humanitarian or ethical consideration … Action is needed. China needs its own Odysseus, urgently. See J. Bechdel , Sinclair , 90—4. Palatine Anthology 9. The Waste Land 3.
See also Pratt Balmer , Included in Bakken Falconer , Falconer , 2; see also 4. Ellison , 39— See further Edith Hall c. Sterling A. English translation by John Cumming. Translated into English by Robert Turner. Allen, T. Bologna: Ferroni Anon. Cambridge: R. Bridges Araki, James T. Lewiston, NY: E. Who is who? Rubino and C.
Shelmerdine eds. London: J. Newcastle: Bloodaxe Barbarese, J. Gilbert, S. Fiske and G. Lindzey eds. New York: E. Bern: Peter Lang Beye, C. London: Hamish Hamilton Bodde, D. Paris: E. Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics Borthwick, E. Rhodes , eds. Foreword W. Manchester: Carcanet Broughton, T.
Available online at www. Malibu: Getty Museum, 43—62 Burnand, F. A Burlesque in One Act. Croydon: C. Publishing Butcher, S. London: A.
Translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt. Harmondsworth: Penguin Caskey, L. Paris: Klincksieck Choate, E. Amsterdam: B. Revised edition. London: T. Oxford: B. Blackwell Cowper, W. Translated into English blank verse. London: S. Beagle, edited by Richard Darwin Keynes. Leiden: Vince[n]tius de Portonariis Doherty. Lillian E. Paris: Hachette Durante, M. Oxford: Blackwell Eckstein, Arthur M. Reprint with new introduction by the author. Boston: J. Emlyn-Jones, C. English translation. Foley ed. Paul Rabinow. New York: Pantheon Fowler, Robert , ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton Fredericks, S.
Tragoedia Nova. Oxford: J. Barnes Garnett, D. The Gods and Men of the Heroic Age. Glenn, J. Contests in the Cultural History of Hellenism. Bern: P. New edition. Berlin: Eulenspiegel Haggard, H. Daniel Karlin. Dillon and S. Wilmer eds. Interactions between Ancient Greek Drama and Society. Shuckburgh ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press ———— F. Macintosh and A. Wrigley , eds. Georg Lasson. Leipzig: F. David Farrell Krell. A facsimile edition and an English translation. PhD Diss. London: W. Winkler ed.
Paul Keegan. Mette ed. London: Hakluyt Society Jenkins, I. Wyatt, Jr, with an appendix by P. Man in a Distant Field. Bernhardt ed. In addition, the following discographies, listed in reverse chronological order, have proved indispensable:. Clough and G. The online discography presented by andante. Though currently available only in Italian, this book is a must for Walterians and is surely the most beautiful tribute ever produced to honor a musician.
In several instances, we have listed recordings now in private collections. Some of these are cassettes and CDRs that have circulated among collectors, others unique acetates that have never reached more than a handful of listeners. We hope that these precious sound documents will eventually find a larger audience. We have sometimes supplied information in brackets where dates and venues seemed likely but not certain.
This listing is, by its nature, an ongoing project. A few archival sources must be more thoroughly examined; moreover, previously unknown recordings are continually being uncovered, and new releases featuring Walter performances are issued almost monthly. The current version, launched on April 15, , runs to some eighty printed pages. Naturally the compilers of this list welcome further additions, comments, corrections, and queries.
Those wishing to contact us should address their comments to eryding aol. Much of the original formatting has unfortunately been lost. Nevertheless, in its current state, the discography should afford the same essential information that it offered before. Last updated: June 4, Matthew Passion Bach: St. Bach: St. Barber: Symphony No. Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No.
Beethoven: Symphony No. The performance in question may be that of December 27, Bruckner: Symphony No. Mahler: The Song of the Earth. Mahler: Symphony No. Mozart: Concerto for Piano No. Mozart: Concerto for Violin No. Mozart: Divertimento No.