Homer in the Twentieth Century: Between World Literature and by Barbara Graziosi, Emily Greenwood

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By Barbara Graziosi, Emily Greenwood

This choice of essays explores the the most important position of Homer within the transferring cultural panorama of the 20th century. It argues that Homer used to be seen either because the founder of the Western literary canon and as sharing vital positive aspects with poems, performances, and traditions which have been usually deemed neither literary nor Western: the epics of Yugoslavia and sub-Saharan Africa, the keening performances of Irish girls, the spontaneous inventiveness of the Blues. The booklet contributes to present debates concerning the nature of the Western literary canon, the evolving idea of worldwide literature, the connection among orality and the written be aware, and the discussion among texts throughout time and house. Homer within the 20th Century contends that the Homeric poems play an immense function in shaping these debates and, conversely, that the stories of the 20 th century open new avenues for the translation of Homer's much-travelled texts.

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O n th e con trary, m y alm ls to prep are th e groun d for oth er p ap ers ln th e collectlon w hlch look at th e w lder con text of H om en c recep tlon ln th e tw en tleth century. M y essay focu ses on an asp ect of P arryns w ork w hlch h as n ot yet recelved w ld esp read atten tlon b u t w h lch ls of p artlcular ln terest for a cultural hlstory of H om er ln th e tw en tleth century :h ls vlew of h ow texts relate to oth er texts; an d th e lm pllcatlon s thls vlew h as for readlng th e w ork of oth er sch olars an d of creatlve w rlters.

B u t h e stlll con ced es th at th ere are K sln gers of talen f w h o grasp th e rlch n ess of th e tradltlon b etter th an anyon e else. lt goes alm ost w lth out saylng th at H om er ls am on g th o se. B u t th e ld ea th at H om er Km asters' th e Kep lc stu ff d o es su ggest th at h ls vlew s w ere am blvalen t. T h ls am blvalen ce w as to p ervad e m any later stu dles of H o m erlc p o ett'y. For P arry, H om e/ s p oetty w as suprem ely beautlful, b ut H om er co uld n o lon ger b e regard ed as lts au th or ln th e u su al sen se.

Joyce's U lysses exp oses th e m oral blln d -sp ots ln prlor receptlon s of th e O dyssey Introductkon 19 and lnitlates the rehabllltatlon of O dysseu's subtle character (his artlstlc hom ecom lnp as lt w ere) ln tw entleth-century receptlons. T he result,for us,ls that Joycens readlng of H om er n o longer seem s radlcal: th e sex u al an d lln gulstlc am blgu ltles of O dyssey 6 are so w ldely recognlzed ln curren t scholarshlp that Joycens readlng seem s closer to H om er th an th e V lctorlan verslon s on w hlch h e relled .

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