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ENG150Y1 - Odyssey - Lecture Notes.docx

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William Robins

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Lecture #6 (September 26th 2012)
Homer’s Odyssey
Longing for home, sense of wandering is present in the odyssey
Textual phenomenon; really its people transferring and speaking of text to eachother
You don‟t have to tell a story in the order of the events of a story; basic principle
Sequential ordering is not always present
Order of events are not always the same as the order in which they are recounted; main chronological
sequence, recollection of the past and anticipation of the future could be different from the actual order of
the story
What matters is the relationship between the orders
Recollections of the past
o Told through the narrator (through an excursus)
o Or character through one‟se memoires
Anticipation of the future:
o Dreams
o Prophecies
o Divine decrees
o Character‟s expectations which may or my not be realized (desires or fears)
Deviations in narrative chronology:
o Mieke bal: “playing with sequential ordering is not just a lit convention, it is also a meanins of
drawing attention to certain things, to emphasizie to bring about aesthetic or psycholgocal effects
to show various interpretations of a event to indicate the subtle difference between expectation and
Two dimensions of narrative texts:
o Fabula/recit
o Fabula series of logically and chronologically related events tht are caused or experienced by the
characters; product of the imagination; the act of imaging the fictional world in which the events
take place

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o Recit produces a particular manifestation and colouring of a fabula; one can regard the recit
primarily as the result of ordering
o We often speak of works we read as if the fabula comes first and has been manipulated by the recit
o “in medias res” latin for: “in the middle of things”
o Odyssey; main order of events by book 9-12 1-8 13-24
A rhapsode = in homer‟s poem, a performed of an epic poem such as demodocus, is called an aioidos with
comes from the greek verb aiodein meaning “to sing”; another greek term for such a performer is
rhapsodos which comes from the greek verb rhapsodein meaning “to stitch together” to stitch different
episodes together to create a story; to play around with time; to manipulate the order of events ^; that‟s
why homer‟s poem is so popular
Pg 211 odsyeus asks T why do you want to stop D‟s singing, wonders how he shud produce the poem;
begins with his name; thoroughly thinking about the order of events he will say to T
Pg 77 narrator asks for inspiration from the Muse on how to start to poem (- line10)
o Seemless meandering of episodes to set up hints as to how the poem will start and end
o Provides flashbacks and flashforwards
Excursus = “passages in which a newly introduced character or object/implement is described as to its
nature and origin or (upon the appearance of a god) we are told where he last was, what he was doing there
and by what road he reached the scence
o Juxtaposition of episodes
o E auerbach the relationships among phenomena are brought to light in perfect fullness so that a
continuous rhythmic procession of phenomena passes by
o E is often introduced by a relative clause, “which once long ago had”
o After the E the scene which had broken off is resumed
The first 8 books are an epic itself of how Telemucs needs to become a man
The first 8 is about the absence of home, social constructs and family
O is first represented as the social reprocautions
Singing poems shown as a greater calling, inspiration
We learn must of the past, social constructs through speeches and songs
Book 5: two beginnings
Gods meet n council
Goods meet in council
Athena and zeus
Athena and zeus
Hermes flies to Ogygia
Athena flies to Ithaca
Hermes and Calypso
Athens and T
Athena flies away
T and Mom
T and suitors
T goes to bed
Hermes flies away
C abd odysess seas
C and O cave
C and o go to bed
Reorganizations episodes in different ways is shown between the two books
Contains the characteristics of oral performance
o Repetition of diff motifs
o Not as episodic as EOG
Epithets = odyseey 8.1-13: when young dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more royal alcinous,
hallowed island king, rose from bed and great O, raider of cities, rose too; used for metrical purposes
Pg 158-9 asks if O wants immortality, but he just wants to go back home
The wandering hero
o Journeys to the farthest reaches of the world
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