Homer (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
University of Chicago Press
229 x 152 x 17 mm
431 g
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The Very Idea

Häftad,  Engelska, 2023-03-22
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The story of our ongoing fascination with Homer, the man and the myth. Homer, the great poet of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is revered as a cultural icon of antiquity and a figure of lasting influence. But his identity is shrouded in questions about who he was, when he lived, and whether he was an actual person, a myth, or merely a shared idea. Rather than attempting to solve the mystery of this character, James I. Porter explores the sources of Homers mystique and their impact since the first recorded mentions of Homer in ancient Greece. Homer: The Very Idea considers Homer not as a man, but as a cultural invention nearly as distinctive and important as the poems attributed to him, following the cultural history of an idea and of the obsession that is reborn every time Homer is imagined. Offering novel readings of texts and objects, the book follows the very idea of Homer from his earliest mentions to his most recent imaginings in literature, criticism, philosophy, visual art, and classical archaeology.
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"In this spirited book, Porter identifies not one but three Homeric questions. First, when, how and by whom were the Iliad and the Odyssey actually composed (that is, the Homeric Question as we traditionally know it)? Second, how should we interpret the poems? And third, how does Homer work as a figure of the imagination? . . . One example of Porters brilliance is his discussion of Homers blindness. Neither historical fact nor unquestioned assumption, 'blindness' was a way for ancient readers to discuss the extraordinary vividness of Homeric epic a quality that made an impression also on later readers." -- Barbara Graziosi * Times Literary Supplement * "Porter presents intriguing instances of writers who, in thrall to the beauty of Homers poetry, either celebrate or deflect from the actual war carnage described therein. Porters book provides not only a valuable introduction to the enigma of Homer and the roads taken down the centuries to solveor at least better understandthat enigma, but also a number of challenging and eye-opening readings of the texts themselves. . . . I found that reading Homer through Porters eyes was sometimes most enjoyable precisely when our viewpoints diverged. This, in itself, is a sign of a rich and engaging book." * New Criterion * "Here is a learned tome worth careful examination. Porter presents an original, focused, intelligent analysis of Homer's oeuvre. The style is breathtaking and the range truly impressive. . . . Summing Up: Recommended." * CHOICE * "Brisk and energetic. Students (and teachers) will find much here to provoke thought and argument about the literary, cultural and moral issues, which find expression and exploration via the pages of this most enigmatic of poets." * Journal of Classics Teaching * "Porters is a fascinating and erudite book with a penchant for striking prose." * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * "Another book about Homer? No, says [Porter], this one is quite different: he will tease out the sources of Homers mystique down the ages, examining the fascination he has cast over posterity since the first recorded references in ancient Greece. There will be nothing about Homer the poet or his supposed historical existence, about the poems literary worth or the circumstances of their composition, certainly nothing about heroic society, simply the pursuit of a concept, an idea, a cultural invention of successive ages called Homer." * Classics for All * "Porters book takes us across nearly three millennia of grappling and wrestling with the idea of Homerwho he was, whether he existed, his deification by his admirers, his de-mythologizing by his critics, and his eternal recurrence again and again and again across space and time." * Merion West * "James I. Porter explores the history of Homers reception, focusing on the various attempts to construct the illusive identity of the Greek poet. At the same time, following a revisionist tradition popular not only in classical studies but also pervasive in academia through the past nearly seventy years, he argues that the real reading of Homer has been obscured by millennia of Western chauvinism and ideology." * University Bookman * "[Porter] cuts right to the bone of the subject. . . Though our attempts to create a biography around Homer are fruitless, the idea of Homer is eternal." * Law and Liberty * Homer: The Very Idea is an extraordinary quest in search not of the elusive Homer but of Homers elusivity. Porter takes up Homer as a phenomenon repeatedly produced over millennia, in different times and places, as the gauzy point of origin for cultural value that refuses to vanish. By critically engaging the idea of Homer, he delves deep into the very logic of the traditions value. An inimitable tour de force of transhistorical spectrology. -- Brooke Holmes, aut

Övrig information

James I. Porter is the Irving Stone Professor of Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous books, including Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on The Birth of Tragedy,' and The Sublime in Antiquity. He has also edited several books and is a coauthor of Postclassicisms, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


Note on Translations and Abbreviations List of Illustrations Timeline 1. Why Homer? 2. Who Was Homer? 3. Apotheosis or Apostasy? 4. What Did Homer See? 5. Why War? Acknowledgments Notes Further Reading Works Cited Index