Homer's Daughters: Women's Responses to Homer in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

ISBN : 9780198802587

Fiona Cox; Elena Theodorakopoulos
368 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
Classical Presences
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This collection of essays examines the various ways in which the Homeric epics have been responded to, reworked, and rewritten by women writers of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Beginning in 1914 with the First World War, it charts this understudied strand of the history of Homeric reception over the subsequent century up to the present day, analysing the extraordinary responses both to the Odyssey and to the Iliad by women from around the world. The backgrounds of these authors and the genres they employ - memoir, poetry, children's literature, rap, novels - testify not only to the plasticity of Homeric epic, but also to the widening social classes to whom Homer appeals, and it is unsurprising to see the myriad ways in which women writers across the globe have played their part in the story of Homer's afterlife. From surrealism to successive waves of feminism to creative futures, Homer's footprint can be seen in a multitude of different literary and political movements, and the essays in this volume bring an array of critical approaches to bear on the work of authors ranging from H.D. and Simone Weil to Christa Wolf, Margaret Atwood, and Kate Tempest. Students and scholars of not only classics, but also translation studies, comparative literature, and women's writing will find much to interest them, while the volume's concluding reflections by Emily Wilson on her new translation of the Odyssey are an apt reminder to all of just how open a text can be, and of how great a difference can be made by a woman's voice.


List of Figures
List of Contributors
0 Fiona Cox and Elena Theodorakopoulos: Introduction
1 Genevieve Liveley: After his wine-dark sea': H.D. in Homer
2 Polly Stoker: Romantic Encounters with Homer in Elizabeth Cook's Achilles
3 Catherine Burke: Female Homers: A Feminist nostos?
4 Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz: Christa Wolf's Cassandra: Different Times, Different Views
5 Carolin Hahnemann: Feminist at Second Glance? Alice Oswald's Memorial as a Response to Homer's Iliad
6 Emily Spiers: Kate Tempest: A 'Brand New Homer' for a Creative Future
7 Jasmine Richards: Rereading Penelope's Web: The Anxieties of Female Authorship in Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad
8 Georgina Paul: Excavations in Homer: Speculative Archaeologies in Alice Oswald's and Barbara Kohler's Responses to the Iliad and the Odyssey
9 Elena Theodorakopoulos: Between Night and Day: Barbara Kohler's Lyric Odyssey
10 Isobel Hurst: Monologue and Dialogue: The Odyssey in Contemporary Women's Poetry
11 Sheila Murnaghan and Deborah H. Roberts: The Forecast is Hurricane: Circe's Powers and Circe's Desires in Modern Women's Poetry
12 Victoria Reuter: Iberian Sybil: Francisca Aguirre on Cavafy and the Journey out of Ithaca
13 Francesca Richards: Cut down to size': Female Voices and Adventure in Adele Geras' Ithaka
14 Ruth MacDonald: Health isn't making everybody into a Greek ideal': Overcoming Abjection in Gwyneth Lewis's A Hospital Odyssey
15 Fiona Cox: Thinking through our mothers': Cixous and Homer beyond the Third Wave
16 Emily Wilson: Epilogue: Translating Homer as a Woman

About the author: 

Fiona Cox is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Exeter. Her work focuses on the reception of classical literature, particularly in women's writing, and she has also published widely in the area of nineteenth-century French literature.
Elena Theodorakopoulos grew up in Konstanz in Germany, and has been lecturing in Classics at the University of Birmingham for some years now. Her work focuses on Latin poetry and on the reception of classical literature in women's writing.

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