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By Line Henriksen

This comparative examine investigates the epic lineage that may be traced again from Derek Walcott's Omeros and Ezra Pound's Cantos via Dante's Divina Commedia to the epic poems of Virgil and Homer, and identifies and discusses intimately a few recurrent key topoi. A clean definition of the concept that of style is labored out and provided, in response to readings of Homer. The research reads Pound's and Walcott's poetics within the mild of Roman Jakobson's notions of metonymy and metaphor, putting their lengthy poems on the respective contrary ends of those language poles. The inspiration of 'epic ambition' refers back to the poetic status hooked up to the epic style, while the (non-Bloomian) 'anxiety' happens whilst the poet faces not just the chance that his undertaking may perhaps fail, yet in particular the ethical implications of that ambition and the phobia that it may possibly end up presumptuous. The drafts of Walcott's Omeros are right here tested for the 1st time, and a focus is usually dedicated to Pound's artistic methods as illustrated by means of the drafts of the Cantos. even if there has already been an intermittent serious concentrate on the 'classical' (and 'Dantean') antecedents of Walcott's poetry, the current examine is the 1st to assemble the entire variety of epic intertextualities underlying Omeros, and the 1st to learn this Caribbean masterpiece within the context of Pound's success.

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Extra info for Ambition and Anxiety: Ezra Pound's 'Cantos' and Derek Walcott's 'Omeros' as Twentieth-Century Epics (Cross Cultures 88) (Cross Cultures)

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Trojans into an opposition not only of Trojans and Latins, but also of an ‘us’ vs. a ‘them’. ”91 Quint, however, refers us to Polybius’ reading of Iliad 4, which finds an opposition with ideological markers in Homer’s description of Trojans and Greeks; Greek silence and self-control are contrasted with the noise and war reading strategy with which the text wishes to be received. See Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, tr. Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge U P , 1997).

The different perceptions of the role of the rhapsode reflect the gap between the singer’s own claims about the origins of his song and our actual knowledge of the formulaic tradition and technique. Whereas Svenbro distinguishes between singer and rhapsode, Nagy and Skafte Jensen see the two as identical: rather, they stress the fact that the aoidos is also a rhapsode. As we meet him in the Odyssey’s depiction of Demodocus and in the Homer who addresses the muse, the Homeric singer bases his poetic on the religious gift of the muses.

30 Pucci, Odysseus Polutropos, 239. 31 Odysseus Polutropos, 240. 32 Mikhail Bakhtin reminds us that the “speaker is not the biblical Adam, dealing only with virgin and still unnamed objects, giving them names for the first time” and that “something created is always created out of something given”; Bakhtin, Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, tr. Vern W. McGee, ed. Caryl Emerson & Michael Holquist (Austin: U of Texas P , 1986): 93 and 120. 10 AMBITION AND ANXIETY tually every distinctive feature of Homeric poetry is due to the economy enforced on it by oral methods of composition”33; nevertheless, our very ability to study the Iliad and the Odyssey depends on their having been committed to writing.

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