The Return of Ulysses

A Cultural History of Homer's Odyssey

Author: Edith Hall

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857718304

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 7522


Whether they focus on the bewitching song of the Sirens, his cunning escape from the cave of the terrifying one-eyed Cyclops, or the vengeful slaying of the suitors of his beautiful wife Penelope, the stirring adventures of Ulysses/Odysseus are amongst the most durable in human culture. The picaresque return of the wandering pirate-king is one of the most popular texts of all time, crossing East-West divides and inspiring poets and film-makers worldwide. But why, over three thousand years, has the Odyssey's appeal proved so remarkably resilient and long-lasting? In her much-praised book Edith Hall explains the enduring fascination of Homer's epic in terms of its extraordinary susceptibility to adaptation. Not only has the story reflected a myriad of different agendas, but - from the tragedies of classical Athens to modern detective fiction, film, travelogue and opera - it has seemed perhaps uniquely fertile in generating new artistic forms. Cultural texts as diverse as Joyce’s Ulysses, Suzanne Vega's Calypso, Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, the Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou?, Daniel Vigne’s Le Retour de Martin Guerre and Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain all show that Odysseus is truly a versatile hero. His travels across the wine-dark Aegean are journeys not just into the mind of one of the most brilliantly creative of all the ancient Greek writers. They are as much a voyage beyond the boundaries of a narrative which can plausibly lay claim to being the quintessential global phenomenon.

Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey

Author: Sheila Murnaghan

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 1461734029

Category: Philosophy

Page: 150

View: 6334


Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey reveals the significance of the Odyssey's plot, in particular the many scenes of recognition that make up the hero's homecoming and dramatize the cardinal values of Homeric society, an aristocratic culture organized around recognition in the broader senses of honor, privilege, status, and fame. Odysseus' identity is seen to be rooted in his family relations, geographical origins, control of property, participation in the social institutions of hospitality and marriage, past actions, and ongoing reputation. At the same time, Odysseus' dependence on the acknowledgement of others ensures attention to multiple viewpoints, which makes the Odyssey more than a simple celebration of one man's preeminence and accounts in part for the poem's vigorous afterlife. The theme of disguise, which relies on plausible lies, highlights the nature of belief and the power of falsehood and creates the mixture of realism and fantasy that gives the Odyssey its distinctive texture. The book contains a pioneering analysis of the role of Penelope and the questions of female agency and human limitation raised by the critical debate about when exactly she recognizes that Odysseus has come home.

Approaches to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

Author: Kostas Myrsiades

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9781433108853

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 262

View: 8778


"Approaches to Homer's 'Iliad' and 'Odyssey'" consists of ten original essays on the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" by established Homeric scholars and university professors of Greek literature and culture. The anthology offers not only fresh approaches to reading, appreciating, and understanding these Homeric epics, but also attempts to make a case why these works are still relevant in the twenty-first century. Both epics are required reading in most college/university general and world literature courses, as is evident from their inclusion in part or in whole in many standard world literature anthologies. These ten new approaches to the first literary works of Western culture are intended as reading aids for both instructors and students in any college/university classroom in which either of these two Homeric epics are taught.

New Directions in Ancient Pantomime

Author: Edith Hall,Rosie Wyles

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191552577

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 500

View: 1449


This is the first comprehensive and illustrated study of the most important form of theatre in the entire Roman Empire - pantomime, the ancient equivalent of ballet dancing. Performed for more than five centuries in hundreds of theatres from Portugal in the West to the Euphrates, from Gaul to North Africa, solo male dancing stars - the forerunners of Nijinsky, Nureyev, and Baryshnikov - stunned audiences with their erotic costumes, subtlety of gesture, and dazzling athleticism. In sixteen specially commissioned and complementary studies, the leading world specialists explore all aspects of the ancient pantomime dancer's performance skills, popularity, and social impact, while paying special attention to the texts that formed the basis of this distinctive art form.

Joyce's Ulysses

A Reader's Guide

Author: Sean Sheehan

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441179577

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 6725


Ulysses remains less widely read than most texts boasting such a canonical status, largely due to misunderstanding about how to read it, and this guide provides an easy to follow remedy. By showing how Joyce reacted to the historical and cultural context in which he was situated, the radical nature of his use of language is laid bare in a chapter-by-chapter analysis of Ulysses. This approach enables the student reader to read and enjoy the novel's plurality of styles and to understand the terms of critical debate surrounding the nature and significance of Joyce's novel.

Imagining Ancient Cities in Film

From Babylon to Cinecittà

Author: Marta Garcia Morcillo,Pauline Hanesworth,Óscar Lapeña Marchena

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135013160

Category: History

Page: 330

View: 6871


In film imagery, urban spaces show up not only as spatial settings of a story, but also as projected ideas and forms that aim to recreate and capture the spirit of cultures, societies and epochs. Some cinematic cities have even managed to transcend fiction to become part of modern collective memory. Can we imagine a futuristic city not inspired at least remotely by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis? In the same way, ancient Babylon, Troy and Rome can hardly be shaped in popular imagination without conscious or subconscious references to the striking visions of Griffiths’ Intolerance, Petersen’s Troy and Scott’s Gladiator, to mention only a few influential examples. Imagining Ancient Cities in Film explores for the first time in scholarship film representations of cities of the Ancient World from early cinema to the 21st century. The volume analyzes the different choices made by filmmakers, art designers and screen writers to recreate ancient urban spaces as more or less convincing settings of mythical and historical events. In looking behind and beyond intended archaeological accuracy, symbolic fantasy, primitivism, exoticism and Hollywood-esque monumentality, this volume pays particular attention to the depiction of cities as faces of ancient civilizations, but also as containers of moral ideas and cultural fashions deeply rooted in the contemporary zeitgeist and in continuously revisited traditions.