By Line Henriksen
This comparative examine investigates the epic lineage that may be traced again from Derek Walcott's Omeros and Ezra Pound's Cantos via Dante's Divina Commedia to the epic poems of Virgil and Homer, and identifies and discusses intimately a few recurrent key topoi. A clean definition of the idea that of style is labored out and offered, in keeping with readings of Homer. The learn reads Pound's and Walcott's poetics within the mild of Roman Jakobson's notions of metonymy and metaphor, putting their lengthy poems on the respective contrary ends of those language poles. The suggestion of 'epic ambition' refers back to the poetic status connected to the epic style, while the (non-Bloomian) 'anxiety' happens while the poet faces not just the chance that his venture may possibly fail, yet specifically the ethical implications of that ambition and the terror that it could possibly turn out presumptuous. The drafts of Walcott's Omeros are right here tested for the 1st time, and a spotlight is additionally dedicated to Pound's inventive techniques as illustrated through the drafts of the Cantos. even supposing there has already been an intermittent serious concentrate on the 'classical' (and 'Dantean') antecedents of Walcott's poetry, the current research is the 1st to compile the complete variety of epic intertextualities underlying Omeros, and the 1st to learn this Caribbean masterpiece within the context of Pound's fulfillment.
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Extra resources for Ambition and Anxiety: Ezra Pound's 'Cantos' and Derek Walcott's 'Omeros' as Twentieth-Century Epics (Cross Cultures 88) (Cross Cultures)
35 The formula has become ornamental, yet it still serves the function of identifying the poem itself as related to the poems of Homer, which depended entirely on the oral-formulaic method. The technology of writing revolutionises poetic composition. In Virgil, the scroll now performs the function of memorisation which, for the Homeric singer, had meant reliance on the combination of metre and formulae. The formulae upon which oral composition had depended become aesthetic and allusive variations: their purpose is to achieve a poetic effect suggestive of the Homeric model.
87 Consequently, the text cannot criticise that to which it belongs; it cannot both employ and distance itself from the language that belongs to and defines the genre. With an apparent paradox, only the point where the text formulates an explicit desire to belong escapes this definition. 88 It is aware of and talks about itself; Quint, Epic and Empire, 8–9 and 11. Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” (1978), repr. in Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, ed.
104 Lord, The Singer of Tales, 41. 105 Quint, Epic and Empire, 31. 106 With the Aeneid, ideological implications are added to the linear structure. Teleological linearity becomes constitutive of narration; only the end-oriented narration of the winner creates a proper narrative: Narrative itself thus becomes ideologically charged, the formal cause or consequence of that Western male rationality and historical identity that epic ascribes to the imperial victors. 107 The political secondary epic is composed by those who have a story to tell and a history to identify with.
Ambition and Anxiety: Ezra Pound's 'Cantos' and Derek Walcott's 'Omeros' as Twentieth-Century Epics (Cross Cultures 88) (Cross Cultures) by Line Henriksen