In Clash of Cultures: A Psychodynamic Analysis of Homer and the Iliad, Vincenzo Sanguineti examines the psychological complexities of Homer through the Iliad, reflecting on the Iliad’s narrative as a vehicle for social and personal grief and healing.
Vincenzo Sanguineti is practicing psychiatrist and associate professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College.
Chapter 1: The Author
Chapter 2: The Epic: Its Coming to Life
Chapter 3: Homer and the Greeks
Chapter 4: Book II: The Opposing Armies
Chapter 5: Book XIX: The Transferred Wrath against Trojans
Chapter 6: Conclusive Remarks on the Two Opening Demands
Chapter 7::Homer and the Trojans
Chapter 8: Homer and the Orient
Who was Homer? What was Homer’s embodied relationship to his material, to the annihilating wars, to the unappeasable, ungovernable personalities of Achilles and Agamemnon? Above all, who are Homer’s gods? Are these divinities better today when expressed as archetypes? If so, then what revolutions do they sponsor or anticipate? In Clash of Cultures: A Psychodynamic Analysis of Homer and the Iliad, Sanguineti offers compelling psychological insight into Homer as an artist and man, as well as the tragic structures of his epic. With wit and wisdom, Sanguineti provides a revealing study of a past that is historically distant, yet spiritually immanent to Western modernity. This book is essential reading for those wanting to pursue the psychodynamics of cultures and nations. It also re-reads Homer criticism in the cause of a psychologically coherent scholarship. Homer scholars will feast upon it.
A thoroughly engaging therapeutic encounter with Homer’s imagination. Sanguineti is a masterful analyst, who guides us carefully through Homer’s relationships with his characters and the epic struggles they encounter, ever mindful of the cultural and political turmoil of Homer’s time and the dangers of projecting contemporary values and presumptions into his interpretation. The result is a captivating synthesis of Freudian/Jungian ideas with Homeric storytelling that encourages us to re-read Homer’s epic works anew—often by reading between the lines and by reflecting from time to time on what is not said. Sanguineti’s book is a poignant reminder of the timelessness of human experience, not least the tumult and travails of emotions. Despite leading us to the evocative depths of human grief, guilt, sorrow, despair, rage, it is a very enjoyable book!
This is an intriguing book. Vincenzo Sanguineti’s original interpretation of the Iliad traces the influences of Homer’s background and zeitgeist together with his longing and grief for a dying civilization. Sanguineti shows that this grief is ultimately transformed in healing and sublimated in immortal poetry.