Ombra di Ulisse

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Clarendon Press, Jun 2, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 193 pages
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* A perceptive and imaginative exploration of the myth of Ulysses in a range of western literature from Homer to Joyce.* Informed by modern critical theory. Simultaneously ancient and modern, the figure of Ulysses is an ideal observation-point from which to measure the similarities and differences between the otherness ('alterity') of the past and the 'modernity' of the present. Boitani sees Ulysses as a figure which every culture is free tointerpret, according him values rooted on the one hand in the mythical qualities of Odysseus as a character, and on the other in the ideals, problems, and philosophical, ethical, and political horizons of the individual civilization. The Shadow of Ulysses follows the evolution of this sign throughthe ages, returning continuously as it does so to problems of inter-textuality, interpretation, and reading. The sign appears as a 'shadow' both because by means of it, poetry describes humanity's journey to the other world of death, and because, in a figural connotation, Ulysses 'foreshadows'Columbus's and Vespucci's historical voyages to the New World. Among the writers discussed in this book are Homer and Dante, Tasso and Tennyson, Leopardi, Poe, and Baudelaire, as well as Conrad, Levi, Joyce, and Borges.

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Figuralism and Prophecy
Interpretation and Alterity
Typologies History

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About the author (1994)

Piero Boitani is Professor of English at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza'.

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