Strange Instances of Time and Space in the Odyssey explores several aspects of the Homeric Odyssey, focusing on the complex relationship between time and space in Odysseus' maritime wondering. Using nostos as a mega-theme, Menelaos Christopoulos closely examines Odysseus' trips to the strait of Skylla, the island of Calypso, and the Underworld, questioning the intriguing analogies between Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus and the end of Odysseus' reign in Ithaca. This book sets forth original arguments, such as that the murder of Palamedes could be the real reason for Poseidon's wrath; that the poem describes a clear-cut distinction between Odysseus and his companions, who perish without leaving any trace of their prior existence with the sole exception of Elpenor; and, finally, that the Odyssey advocates a new and subversive epic model of life based on the preservation of life rather than on heroic death and the pursuit of glory.
Menelaos Christopoulos is professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the University of Patras.
Chapter 1: Trips, Ships and Helmsmen in The Odyssey
Chapter 2: Onwards and Backwards
Chapter 3: Odysseus’ Crimes and The Prolonged Nostos
Chapter 4: Crossing Straits: From “We” to “I”
Chapter 5: Between Life and Death: Patroclus, Elpenor, The Suitors and Odysseus’ Companions
Chapter 6: Leaving Calypso’s Island or `A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu
About the Author
In Strange Instances of Time and Space in the Odyssey, Menelaos Christopoulos sheds new light on obscure and difficult aspects of Odysseus' nostos. His skillful analysis identifies an intricate network of thematic units centered on maritime travel, the structure of time and space, and Odysseus' ethos, also offering an innovative angle from which to interpret it. Engaging and original, this book takes all readers, experts and general readers alike, on a voyage aboard Odysseus' unnamed ship, alongside his anonymous helmsman and ill-fated crew, to discover the hero's complicated legacy through extant and lost epic traditions. Christopoulos' thorough research and insightful readings bring the Odyssey to Ithaca.
Menelaos Christopoulos has written a delightful book with many insightful observations about travel, space, and time in the Odyssey.