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The Homeric Epics As Palimpsests

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how the story of Scylla and Charybdis is told in our Odyssey. Homer's Odyssey in some way represents the traditional stories about Odysseus, just as every song within an oral tradition must be understood as some kind of pars pro toto of the whole tradition. In fact we might ask ourselves if we need Gérard Genette's specific theories to explain the Odyssey's position concerning its own tradition. For that reason, the chapter reconsiders the specific goals of Genette's Palimpsestes to better understand his intentions. 1982, the publication date of Palimpsestes, was exactly ten years after Genette had published his vol. 3 of Figures, including a chapter (Discours de recit) that became one of the most influential founding texts of the discipline later known as "narratology". The chapter then discusses the relationship between the story and plot of the Iliad.

Keywords: Discours de recit; Gérard Genette; Iliad; Odyssey; Palimpsestes



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