By Harold Bloom (Editor)
Homer, writer of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is the earliest of Greek authors whose works survived. either works are ideally suited types of epic poetry and feature asserted a profound impact at the heritage of Western literature. This quantity deals an entire serious portrait of Homer. This name, Homer, a part of Chelsea apartment Publishers’ glossy severe perspectives sequence, examines the main works of Homer via full-length serious essays by way of specialist literary critics. additionally, this name includes a brief biography on Homer, a chronology of the author’s lifestyles, and an introductory essay written via Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale college.
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Extra info for Homer (Bloom's Modern Critical Views), Updated Edition
The Homeric narrator often demonstrates a privileged knowledge comparable to the knowledge of the bone lesions and the disease that produces the outer symptoms, facts requiring superhuman powers of vision. When a warrior is killed or wounded in the Iliad, it often happens that every detail of the injury is given, including the exact course of the missile through the body (and sometimes the shield):34 Him Meriones, when he overtook him in the chase, wounded in the right buttock; and clean through went the spear’s point all the way under the bone into the bladder; he fell to his knees groaning, and death enveloped him.
The first will be discussed in this section: the knowledge of events or facts about which the (mortal) characters could not possibly know; the second is the ability to see into characters’ minds; the third is the knowledge of the future. In the first category, two sorts of information held by the Homeric narrator are unavailable to the characters. One is common in narrative, while the other is peculiar to the few narratives in which the machinations of supernatural characters are hidden from the humans.
But this position is different from their supposing that all archaic narrative was intended to be an accurate account of the past, different from their failing to appreciate that narrative may be ﬁctional. We must strongly resist the temptation to use passages that suggest an interest in other varieties of truths as evidence for a commitment to a nonﬁctional variety of truth in poetic narrative, and vice versa. For the moment, I am interested only in archaic awareness of ﬁction in narrative, particularly in the kind of narrative represented by Homeric poetry (the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Hymns), that is, narrative about events far removed in time.
Homer (Bloom's Modern Critical Views), Updated Edition by Harold Bloom (Editor)