This collection of essays explores the crucial place of Homer in the shifting cultural landscape of the twentieth century. It argues that Homer was viewed both as the founding father of the Western literary canon and as sharing important features with poems, performances, and traditions which were often deemed neither literary nor Western: the epics of Yugoslavia and sub-Saharan Africa, the keening performances of Irish women, the spontaneous inventiveness of the Blues. The book contributes to current debates about the nature of the Western literary canon, the evolving notion of world literature, the relationship between orality and the written word, and the dialogue between texts across time and space. Homer in the Twentieth Century contends that the Homeric poems play an important role in shaping those debates and, conversely, that the experiences of the twentieth century open new avenues for the interpretation of Homer's much-travelled texts.
Publisher: Oxford University Press