Page 1 of 2

Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:08 am
by seanjonesbw
Welcome to the Odyssey Reading Group! Anyone is welcome to join, regardless of their Greek ability. If you’re itching to explore Homer’s epic tale of survival, adventure, love, lust, kinship, betrayal and spooky dead people, hop on in, you’ll be very welcome. People who have some Greek but have never tried reading Homer before are doubly welcome.

Check the introductory thread for a description of how the group works.
Resources
Show
We’re working from Geoffrey Steadman’s Odyssey Books 6-8, a freely-available pdf

An introduction to Book 6 and a list of resources for deeper study are available in the group dropbox folder

I've also been making flashcards to go with Steadman's text (vocab occurring >8 times in Books 6-8)
Week 3: Friday 28th June
Next week we'll be reading Book 6 Lines 48-70 – I must go down to the seas again

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:13 am
by seanjonesbw
This week's text (lines 48-70) Αὐτίκα δ ̓ Ἠὼς ἦλθεν ἐύθρονος, ἥ μιν ἔγειρε 48 Ναυσικάαν ἐύπεπλον· ἄφαρ δ ̓ ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον, 49 βῆ δ ̓ ἴμεναι διὰ δώμαθ ̓, ἵν ̓ ἀγγείλειε τοκεῦσι, 50 πατρὶ φίλῳ καὶ μητρί· κιχήσατο δ ̓ ἔνδον ἐόντας· 51 ἡ μὲν ἐπ ̓ ἐσχάρῃ ἧστο σὺν ἀμφιπόλοισι γυναιξὶν 52 ἠλάκατα στρωφῶσ ̓ ἁλιπόρφυρα· τῷ δὲ θύραζε 53 ἐρχομένῳ ξύμβλητο μετὰ κλειτοὺς βασιλῆας 54 ἐς βουλήν, ἵνα μιν κάλεον Φαίηκες ἀγαυοί. 55 ἡ δὲ μάλ ̓ ἄγχι στᾶσα φίλον πατέρα προσέειπε· 56 “Πάππα φίλ ̓, οὐκ ἂν δή μοι ἐφοπλίσσειας ἀπήνην 57 ὑψηλὴν ἐύκυκλον, ἵνα κλυτὰ εἵματ ̓ ἄγωμαι 58 ἐς ποταμὸν πλυνέουσα, τά μοι ῥερυπωμένα κεῖται; 59 καὶ δὲ σοὶ αὐτῷ ἔοικε μετὰ πρώτοισιν ἐόντα. 60 βουλὰς βουλεύειν καθαρὰ χροΐ εἵματ ̓ ἔχοντα. 61 πέντε δέ τοι φίλοι υἷες ἐνὶ μεγάροις γεγάασιν, 62 οἱ δύ ̓ ὀπυίοντες, τρεῖς δ ̓ ἠΐθεοι θαλέθοντες· 63 οἱ δ ̓ αἰεὶ ἐθέλουσι νεόπλυτα εἵματ ̓ ἔχοντες 64 ἐς χορὸν ἔρχεσθαι· τὰ δ ̓ ἐμῆ̣ φρενὶ πάντα μέμηλεν.” 65 ὣς ἔφατ ̓· αἴδετο γὰρ θαλερὸν γάμον ἐξονομῆναι 66 πατρὶ φίλῳ. ὁ δὲ πάντα νόει καὶ ἀμείβετο μύθῳ· 67 “οὔτε τοι ἡμιόνων φθονέω, τέκος, οὔτε τευ ἄλλου. 68 ἔρχευ· ἀτάρ τοι δμῶες ἐφοπλίσσουσιν ἀπήνην 69 ὑψηλὴν ἐύκυκλον, ὑπερτερίῃ ἀραρυῖαν.” 70

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:21 am
by seanjonesbw
Below are 7 different translations of lines 57-58 (see the box for the translator if you're interested). How can we approach tone and register when translating direct speech?

1. Daddy dear,
I wonder, won’t you have them harness a wagon for me,
the tall one with the good smooth wheels

2. Dear Daddy, please would you set up
the wagon with the big smooth wheels for me

3. Father dear, I wonder if you could tell them to get me a high-sided waggon with strong wheels

4. Daddy dear, will you not have them harness me the wagon,
the high one with the good wheels

5. Papa dear, wilt thou not make ready for me a wagon, high and stout of wheel,

6. Papa dear, could you manage to let me have a good big wagon?

7. Cher papa, ne veux-tu sur l’heure me fournir
Un char vaste et rapide

Translators
Show
1. Robert Fagles
2. Emily Wilson
3. E.V. Rieu
4. Richmond Lattimore
5. A.T. Murray
6. Samuel Butler
7. Ulysse de Séguier
A note: For reasons of accessibility, I'm keeping my opening question broad. Any specific discussion of the Greek is obviously very welcome.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:30 am
by seanjonesbw
Does anyone have Stanford to hand? I saw this in Heubeck & al.:
49. ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ - Stanford takes the prefix as negative, with the sense 'ceased to wonder at'; but it is, rather, intensive, the prefix being a device to bring the verse-end formula back to the fourth foot caesura.
What is Stanford's justification for this? Presumably, in slightly stilted old man English (apologies to all slightly stilted old men), this would run “Immediately she had ceased to wonder…, she departed...”?


Heubeck & al. also have rather an unfortunate typo in their quote from Marzullo's Problema Omerico which might amuse people with minds as base as my own.

“È lo stesso problema insomma, e non solubile, della piana di troia, e di ogni altra descrizione geografica, creata, ma per suo uso, dall'epica.”

'piana di troia' 👀

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:15 am
by Aetos
I've posted pages 310-311 of Stanford's commentary, which cover this week's reading on archive.org.:

https://archive.org/details/OdysseyStanford002

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:12 pm
by seanjonesbw
Superb, thank you for posting that. I see the sense intended is more 'Straight away she left off wondering at her dream, and went through the house", which seems to change the meaning of ὄνειρον as the object quite radically.

As this is straight after her waking up, Stanford's reading suggests that she is marvelling at the dream itself, from within the dream, and dawn waking her up is the thing that stops her marvelling at it (i.e. ἔγειρε and ἀπεθαύμασ ̓are simultaneous). If we take Heubeck & al.'s reading, the dream is already in the past, she has woken up and the ὄνειρον is her memory of the dream she has just had. Is this an unreasonable distinction to make?

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:25 pm
by Barry Hofstetter
I simply enjoyed the coy Daughter-Father interaction. Let me shamelessly impute my cultural context: as a Father of two daughters, I had no problem recognizing what was going on. My daughters always "win." It's a good thing they have a mother who can "just say no..." :)

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:47 pm
by seanjonesbw
Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:25 pm
I simply enjoyed the coy Daughter-Father interaction. Let me shamelessly impute my cultural context: as a Father of two daughters, I had no problem recognizing what was going on. My daughters always "win." It's a good thing they have a mother who can "just say no..." :)
Haha! Barry I'm loving the image of you in your favourite chair saying "Neither the mules nor aught else do I begrudge you" to a supplicant daughter. I might start using this as my standard response to any request.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:46 pm
by Aetos
If we take Heubeck & al.'s reading, the dream is already in the past, she has woken up and the ὄνειρον is her memory of the dream she has just had. Is this an unreasonable distinction to make?
I looked up the article by Witte referred to by Hainesworth in the note and here's a link:

https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.bpl.org/s ... b_contents

You need an account either on JSTOR or with a partner institution in order to access the article. I was able to get access to it through my public library account.

My German's pretty good, but I'm not a metrician, so I had to look up some of the terms and resort to my copy of Rosenmeyer, Ostwald and Halporn to refresh my memory on others, but the gist of it is that in order to join the fourth foot with the fifth foot of the hexameter where the fifth and sixth feet were comprised of formulae, quite often a monosyllabic or disyllabic word was employed and very often this involved prepositions that could also be used to create new (as in not previously existing) compound nouns and verbs, thus ἀποθαυμάζω. He cites ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον as an example. This is discussed on page 11 of the article. If you check the LSJ, you'll see that this compound is only used in poetry. The other point that Witte mentions is that these compounds were created without any real difference in meaning from the base word, in this case θαυμάζω.

"Zwischen solchen Komposita und ihren Simplicia besteht vielfach keinerlei Bedeutungsunterschied" (p.11)

I hope mwh or hylander or randy gibbons will jump in and give you a more detailed explanation of what's going on in the line, but I thought it important to point out that this is an "artificial compound" for metrical use only and that there was more to that citation by Hainesworth. The compound verb was used to satisfy metrical requirements, not change the sense of the line.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:05 pm
by seanjonesbw
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:46 pm
I looked up the article by Witte referred to by Hainesworth in the note and here's a link:
Interesting! I think your link only works from within the Boston library service (at least for me) - this is the public link https://www.jstor.org/stable/40264716?s ... b_contents

My German is non-existent other than a year of Apfelsaft in der Pause & other exciting phrases when I was 12 so thank you for the summary.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:46 pm
the gist of it is that in order to join the fourth foot with the fifth foot of the hexameter where the fifth and sixth feet were comprised of formulae, quite often a monosyllabic or disyllabic word was employed and very often this involved prepositions that could also be used to create new (as in not previously existing) compound nouns and verbs
I don't understand this bit - is he just saying that the preposition in the compound is a convenient way of maintaining Hermann's bridge, even if the new verb isn't semantically different? I don't think that can be the gist from what you've said, so yes please if someone could step in and explain this that would be great.
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:46 pm
He cites ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον as an example. This is discussed on page 11 of the article. If you check the LSJ, you'll see that this compound is only used in poetry.
I see from Perseus that ἀποθαυμάζω is actually a Homeric hapax legomenon, too.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:51 pm
by seanjonesbw
seanjonesbw wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:13 am
ἠλάκατα στρωφῶσ ̓ ἁλιπόρφυρα
I'm sure that many here will have done their own investigations into 'sea-purple' and ancient dyes - I've just started using natural dyes on my own clothes so it's something I have a particular interest in. If you've not read the story of the murex snail (which may be the source of ἁλιπόρφυρα in this line, or may not) and its influence on the ancient world, then this article is a good general introduction http://esmelivingcolour.com/wp-content/ ... Purple.pdf (I'm aware that it may lack rigour for some, in which case weightier and more august tomes can be recommended).

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:11 pm
by Aetos
is he just saying that the preposition in the compound is a convenient way of maintaining Hermann's bridge, even if the new verb isn't semantically different?
According to the article, it's just one of a number of ways to the prevent the word break. Sean, I've only read the article through to the point where he talks about the use of prepositions to do this. This is just a small part of his overall argument, which is that the preponderance (60% of all Homeric verse) of the bucolic diaeresis arising from the use of forumulaics in the 5th and 6th feet of the hexameter is what drove the development (evolution?) of the epic dialect with its broad variety of forms, its retention of archaisms, and creation of neologisms. Anyway, that's what I've taken away from it (so far). I need to have a good read through West's 'Greek Metre" to fully understand what he's saying. Bear in mind this was written in 1913, so I suspect there have been some developments since then...

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:57 pm
by seanjonesbw
Aetos wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:11 pm
This is just a small part of his overall argument, which is that the preponderance (60% of all Homeric verse) of the bucolic diaeresis arising from the use of forumulaics in the 5th and 6th feet of the hexameter is what drove the development (evolution?) of the epic dialect with its broad variety of forms, its retention of archaisms, and creation of neologisms.
I'm completely out of my depth here and need saving. I was under the impression that ἀπεθαύμασ ̓was preventing bucolic diaeresis in this line.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:19 pm
by Aetos
No, I think I'm completely out of my depth here and we both need saving! mwh should be along any minute now...
I'm afraid I just don't understand metrics well enough to accurately interpret what I'm reading. That I will try to rectify over the next few years! Seriously though, I've got to learn a lot more about caesuras before I can truly begin to understand that article by Witte. However, I did find an article (also on JSTOR) that discusses the theory of the caesura with a reference to Witte:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/288914?seq ... b_contents

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:53 pm
by mwh
Sorry, I haven’t been following properly.

Ναυσικάαν ἐύπεπλον· ἄφαρ δ ̓ ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον,

First off, to rehearse what you all probably recognize, the verse has a 3rd-foot “feminine” caesura, just like its immediate neighbors (and also 51 and 52, as it happens). In Homer this is a bit more common than the 3rd-foot “masculine” caesura following the long, and more to the point, it appears to be the more traditional form. Note that the syntax also breaks at this point.

I don’t know if I’ve ever read the cited article of Witte’s (and I don’t currently have access to JSTOR), but “Hermann’s bridge” refers to the late-18th-cent. observation that if the second half (the “biceps” in Maas’s terminology) of the 4th foot is disyllabic (consisting of two shorts), there is very rarely word division between the two shorts. ἄφαρ δ ̓ ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον| is in conformity with this rule, as uncompounded *ἐθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον| would not be.

*θαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον| (uncompounded and unaugmented), for its part, would be bucolic diaeresis (word-break before 5th foot, resulting in the closing cadence found in other verse forms too). This is a common pattern in Homer (here in 48, 51, 53, …), so while ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον| does “prevent” bucolic diaeresis, it does so only incidentally. That can’t be its purpose or motivate the use of the compound.

Witte was a pathbreaking scholar in Hermann’s wake who significantly anticipated Milman Parry in his recognition of the part played by formulae in Homeric composition. Aetos explains his argument, which in itself is very plausible. But to my mind Witte’s point as applied to ἀπεθαύμασ ̓ ὄνειρον| would be more cogent if θαύμασ(ε) were attested in formulaic phrases and/or at bucolic diaeresis. Which it’s not. That doesn’t invalidate Witte’s position (no significant semantic difference) but it does weaken it with respect to this particular verse.

Stanford for his part was a good reader of Homer, but I’m not much attracted by his interpretation of the compound here (a Homeric hapax, as Sean points out). It seems quite tenable in principle, despite Hainsworth, but over-ingenious, and it's not how the word was understood in antiquity.

Sorry not to be more helpful.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:26 pm
by Aetos
Thank you, Michael. I've spent most of the day reading Samuel Bassett's "The Theory of the Homeric Caesura According to the Extant Remains of the Ancient Doctrine " (see my link above) trying to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. He makes several references to Witte, although he mentions that Witte's "compound verse" theory was unproven due to lack of evidence. I had no idea how much controversy surrounds the doctrine of the caesura. It's a fascinating article.
Can you get access to JSTOR through your public library? That's how I do it-through the Boston Public Library.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:00 am
by mwh
Thanks Aetos. Bassett’s book (The Poetry of Homer) was reissued in 2003, reviewed hy Ruth Scodel in BMCR. One of her comments:
“His vehement attack on the search for a third-foot caesura in every line is justified, but here his rejection of Parry limits his insight into the hexameter, since word-end and formula-boundary are closely related.”
I agree with that criticism, especially the negative part of it (however ill-formulated). The various cuts and bridges of the Homeric hexameter can be understood only in the light of formulaic composition. And much progress has been made in the full century that has passed since the article you’ve been reading was published. There's really not much controversy about caesura, aside from definition.

I could easily get access to JSTOR (I have affiliation with several universities), but I can no longer be bothered. Like Vergil’s Corycian senex, I must cultivate my garden.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:32 am
by seanjonesbw
Thank you Michael! The thing I find most difficult about discussions of metre are the little chicken and egg loops of reasoning that seem to be everywhere i.e. the poet has chosen a certain word placement and form to create X metrical effect vs. the poet has been restricted by the expected metrical pattern and so has been forced to use Y placement and form.

I suppose the same is true in any language and adds richness to the experience (and in many cases is 'a little from column A, a little from column B') but when scholars disagree it puts my head in a spin.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:39 am
by Paul Derouda
I still don’t quite understand Witte’s idea why the 4th foot needs to be joined to the 5th (thus preventing the bucolic diaresis, if you like). Bucolic diaresis seems to be compatible with the feminine caesura, so what constraints would there be in this verse to make it necessary to join the 4th foot to the 5th? Is it the word end after ἄφαρ (or rather ἄφαρ δ῾, since δέ as an enclitic is metrically part of the previous word) i.e word end after the first syllable of the 4th foot that would be incompatible?

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:38 am
by seanjonesbw
To add to the complication rather than providing any solutions:

Is there any reason that the following wouldn't be acceptable syntactically or semantically to fill the gap occupied by the preposition? (The first one is obviously unacceptable metrically because of the break at Hermann's bridge).

αφαρ δ' αρ' εθαυμασ' ονειρον
αφαρ δ' αρα θαυμασ' ονειρον

Sorry about the lack of diacritics I can't type them on my phone.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:09 am
by Paul Derouda
Syntactically it’s ok, but semantically I don’t know. ἀρα means ”as you would only expect”.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:47 pm
by Aetos
I still don’t quite understand Witte’s idea why the 4th foot needs to be joined to the 5th (thus preventing the bucolic diaresis, if you like).
As mwh points out, it's not about preventing Bucolic Diaeresis (in which case it would affect 60% of the Homeric corpus). It goes back to Witte's theory that the hexameter was originally a compound verse that came from a 4 foot (vierhebige Langvers) verse and 2 foot verse (zweihebige Kurzvers). In the process of uniting the two, it was customary to use a 2 syllable word form, which had the result of creating a syntactical unit. Here's a copy of the page:
https://imgur.com/a/vjMdGC0
I'm pretty sure your German is better than mine, so perhaps you'll get more out of it than I have so far.
Here is a copy of the page that mentions ἀπεθαύμασ' ὄνειρον:
https://imgur.com/a/vP6or9u

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 pm
by mwh
Sean’s chicken and egg point is well taken, but I don’t think seeking metrical effects is at all high on the poet’s agenda.

To take Sean’s hypothetical pair:
1. αφαρ δ' αρ' εθαυμασ' ονειρον
2. αφαρ δ' αρα θαυμασ' ονειρον

Avoidance of the first of these would be instinctive. It’s not as if the poet said to himself “Oh I mustn’t do that, it would break Hermann’s Bridge.” The extremely strong inhibition against |u—uu—— at verse end will be rooted in traditional (“formulaic”) patterns, as Witte recognized. It would be a mistake to think in terms of conscious choice on the poet’s part.

There’d be no inhibition at all against the second, from a metrical point of view (feminine caesura and bucolic dieresis). The only question is why αφαρ δ’ απεθαυμασ’ ονειρον was generated instead. The second excerpt from Witte just posted by Aetos goes a long way towards answering this. And if I'm not mistaken αφαρ δ' αρα is alien to Homer, whereas αφαρ δ’ απεθαυμασ’ ονειρον, with the verb directly following αφαρ δ’, matches e,g. αφαρ δ’ ερεεινετο μυθῳ.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:57 pm
by seanjonesbw
mwh wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 pm
Avoidance of the first of these would be instinctive. It’s not as if the poet said to himself “Oh I mustn’t do that, it would break Hermann’s Bridge.” The extremely strong inhibition against |u—uu—— at verse end will be rooted in traditional (“formulaic”) patterns, as Witte recognized. It would be a mistake to think in terms of conscious choice on the poet’s part.
Is there a good, up-to-date survey of the several issues involved here (in particular the supposed process of oral composition and its interaction with metre)? I keep reading Parry summarised at third hand. Should I perhaps just go and read Parry himself or is that only the beginning?
mwh wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 pm
And if I'm not mistaken αφαρ δ' αρα is alien to Homer, whereas αφαρ δ’ απεθαυμασ’ ονειρον, with the verb directly following αφαρ δ’, matches e,g. αφαρ δ’ ερεεινετο μυθῳ.
I doff my cap - I am convinced.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:58 pm
by seanjonesbw
David Chamberlain's take from his commentary on book 6:

ἀπεθαύμασε: “greatly wondered at” (either because she senses the role of the god, or because she is surprised to discover it was a dream, not her friend); the prefix is generally taken as intensifying the verb. Admittedly that’s not a natural way to read ἀπό; I suspect the idea is “she wondered at the dream as it departed/as she awoke”.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:02 pm
by mwh
As you suggest, reading Parry would be only the beginning. It’s much more complex now. You could try various entries in the Homer Encyclopedia put together by Margalit Finkelberg (there are several beginning with “oral”, and one for “Parry”). Foley is (or was) a big player here. A book I found very illuminating in the 70s was Michael Nagler’s Tradition and Spontaneity, applying the concept of sphota (which I’d never heard of). That answered a lot of questions for me and tied a lot of things together very satisfyingly; it may still be the best elucidation of “composition in performance.” Of course there’s no end of work been done since then. Greg Nagy has been preternaturally prolific (and increasingly repetitive) and has sought to own the Parry-Lord tradition, as differently has Richard Janko.

David Chamberlain is talking through his hat.. As LSJ says of ἀπό in compounds (ἀπό D.4), “freq[uently] it only strengthens the sense of the simple.” Witte knew that.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:56 am
by seanjonesbw
Thank you for being so generous with your time and experience, Michael - Nagler's book is wending its way from Indiana to my shelves as I type. I'm looking forward to it.

We can leave Chamberlain and his hat on the naughty step for a couple of days :wink:

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:30 pm
by mwh
Nagler: “All is traditional on the generative level, all original on the level of performance.” Thus he dissolves the conflict.


"Dad, how about fitting me out a good fast wagon so that I can go down to the river and wash my fine clothes, which have gotten all dirty." (My translation, but think how far any translation falls short.)
Does she anticipate meeting a tall dark handsome stranger?
Or better, Does the listener/reader anticipate it?

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:15 pm
by Paul Derouda
I believe I also read Nagler's book some years ago on mwh's recommendation. I agree it was an eye-opening book (If I'm thinking about the right book that is :wink:). I think you only need to read like the first half to get the idea, after which it becomes increasingly repetitive and/or hard to follow (or perhaps I got increasingly lazy...). But I'd say that to be fully able profit from that book you should first get a basic idea of Milman Parry and the oral formulaic theory. No need to read Parry himself, really - you can find a summary of his achievements in the Homer Encyclopedia, as suggested by mwh, or in the introduction of almost any scholarly Cambridge/Oxford commentary on Homer produced in the last 30 or 40 years or so.

Perhaps someone else can name a particularly good and concise introduction to Parry's ideas, I have seen so many of them that I can't really say which one is best.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:46 pm
by seanjonesbw
mwh wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:30 pm
"Dad, how about fitting me out a good fast wagon so that I can go down to the river and wash my fine clothes, which have gotten all dirty." (My translation, but think how far any translation falls short.)
Does she anticipate meeting a tall dark handsome stranger?
Or better, Does the listener/reader anticipate it?
I'm so intrigued by the difference between the impression we get of the wedding here

σοὶ δὲ γάμος σχεδόν ἐστιν, ...
... χαίρουσιν δὲ πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ.
(lines 27-30)

which seems like an administrative task she has to get through to make her parents happy,
and lines 66-67

αἴδετο γὰρ θαλερὸν γάμον ἐξονομῆναι
πατρὶ φίλῳ

- so much revealed in seven words! We don't know what kind of man she's imagining who sets her heart aflutter but from this point we know that her wedding isn't just for propriety's sake. There is love, or at the very least puppy love, at stake too. I think the reader can't help imagining the 'meet cute' once we know this. Whether she expects to meet the tall dark handsome stranger on her trip to the pools or not, her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:59 pm
by seanjonesbw
Thanks Paul - I've read summaries of Parry's work and his field recordings in a few places, including a surprisingly detailed treatment in Adam Nicolson's The Mighty Dead, but perhaps I would benefit from something more academic. I haven't yet worked out a way to access the Homer Encyclopedia (apart from the free first page) with non-university credentials, but I'd like to read something that gives more nuance on the formulaic stuff than just 'he noticed that formulae were used a lot and that these formed neat units for slotting into oral compositions'.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
by seneca2008
We don't know what kind of man she's imagining who sets her heart aflutter but from this point we know that her wedding isn't just for propriety's sake. There is love, or at the very least puppy love, at stake too. I think the reader can't help imagining the 'meet cute' once we know this. Whether she expects to meet the tall dark handsome stranger on her trip to the pools or not, her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.
I don’t want to make myself unpopular by always questioning what I regard as blatant projection onto poor Homer’s text but this seems to be importing Mills and Boon in a wholly inappropriate way. I thought mwh’s post was a joke. Clearly I am missing something.

I find the whole of this episode disturbingly funny. It seems to me to be a parody of male heroic action. Men travel in chariots but women use a wagon. Men fight wars while women spin and do the washing. When Priam visits Achilles in Iliad 24 he takes a wagon but travels himself in a chariot. I think this episode from the Odyssey reveals a lot about the status of elite women. Romantic love doesn’t seem to figure at all. I realise that the oppositions are more complex but stated in this way I hope they serve as a counterbalance to the way others see this episode. You can be sure that poor old Nausicaa will be married to whoever makes the best offer to Alcinous, whoever maximises his τιμή.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:02 am
by Paul Derouda
seanjonesbw wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:59 pm
perhaps I would benefit from something more academic.
Really, all I meant was that some kind introduction would be helpful before engaging that book.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:21 am
by Paul Derouda
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
We don't know what kind of man she's imagining who sets her heart aflutter but from this point we know that her wedding isn't just for propriety's sake. There is love, or at the very least puppy love, at stake too. I think the reader can't help imagining the 'meet cute' once we know this. Whether she expects to meet the tall dark handsome stranger on her trip to the pools or not, her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.
I don’t want to make myself unpopular by always questioning what I regard as blatant projection onto poor Homer’s text but this seems to be importing Mills and Boon in a wholly inappropriate way. I thought mwh’s post was a joke. Clearly I am missing something.

I find the whole of this episode disturbingly funny. It seems to me to be a parody of male heroic action. Men travel in chariots but women use a wagon. Men fight wars while women spin and do the washing. When Priam visits Achilles in Iliad 24 he takes a wagon but travels himself in a chariot. I think this episode from the Odyssey reveals a lot about the status of elite women. Romantic love doesn’t seem to figure at all. I realise that the oppositions are more complex but stated in this way I hope they serve as a counterbalance to the way others see this episode. You can be sure that poor old Nausicaa will be married to whoever makes the best offer to Alcinous, whoever maximises his τιμή.
Historically, marriages were arranged by the family in many if not most human societies, and they still are. Luckily we know how wrong everybody else is and has always been. The correct interpretation of this is of course that a poor young person (let's not "girl" her, to avoid categorizing her according to the fallacious concept of gender) is being brutally exploited by her father the phallocrat without her even knowing it (here we can say "father", because clearly he is a man, and thus we can name the guilty party).

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:52 am
by seanjonesbw
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
We don't know what kind of man she's imagining who sets her heart aflutter but from this point we know that her wedding isn't just for propriety's sake. There is love, or at the very least puppy love, at stake too. I think the reader can't help imagining the 'meet cute' once we know this. Whether she expects to meet the tall dark handsome stranger on her trip to the pools or not, her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.
I don’t want to make myself unpopular by always questioning what I regard as blatant projection onto poor Homer’s text but this seems to be importing Mills and Boon in a wholly inappropriate way. I thought mwh’s post was a joke. Clearly I am missing something.
I thought this might get your goat.

But look! Now we have two interpretations we can profitably compare in order to interrogate your use of 'projection'.
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
I find the whole of this episode disturbingly funny. It seems to me to be a parody of male heroic action. Men travel in chariots but women use a wagon. Men fight wars while women spin and do the washing. When Priam visits Achilles in Iliad 24 he takes a wagon but travels himself in a chariot.
I take your point, but I don't see that this intertextual parody exists except in the broadest sense. There doesn't seem to be any direct parody of the language used of chariots and battle when the mules and wagons are discussed. They seem to be treated quite matter-of-factly as a means to an end. In what way is Homer evoking this parallel unless we bring our own 21st century mores to the table to force the comparison? If this is parody then Homer is no Aristophanes.

What do you suppose is the object of the parody - women themselves or the inequality between men and women? The latter seems like a stretch but then the former seems unfair in this context.
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
I think this episode from the Odyssey reveals a lot about the status of elite women.
This sentence needs considerable unpacking. Reveals - to whom, by what mechanism, to what end, deliberately or incidentally? Status - do you simply mean 'their lot' or something more? Elite women - Phaeacian elite women? 'Greek' elite women? Elite women throughout history?
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
Romantic love doesn’t seem to figure at all... You can be sure that poor old Nausicaa will be married to whoever makes the best offer to Alcinous, whoever maximises his τιμή.
"What you call love was invented by guys like me" - I just don't buy that your parents exerting control over your marriage precludes love, infatuation, adoration, and that these things have only been possible since 1962 or whatever time limit you want to put on it.

This is not to say that to exist in a society where you are subjected to structural inequality and your parents exert significant control over who you marry has no effect on how you feel - we've all read our Greer and de Beauvoir - but to suggest that we can only love someone that we have had complete freedom to choose (what does this even mean?) is just a misunderstanding of human behaviour. I exist in a society where many parents have strong opinions about who their children marry - no socialists please, you can only marry a doctor or a lawyer - which influence their children's decisions because they want to avoid falling out with their parents. It doesn't stop them loving a person who meets their parents' approval.

Whether greater freedom to choose who we marry leads to more loving marriages in every case - now there's a question!

It is important to understand that pressures on women (and men) in terms of who they marry exist on a spectrum (or more likely some kind of 4 dimensional plane) from shotgun wedding to 'I like him but my dad expressed a dislike for men with beards 10 years ago'. To cleanly separate our society from this other society is to turn this spectrum into a distinction. For a full exploration, written by a woman, of the interaction between the 'gilded cage' and genuine feelings of love and affection in a court where marriages are carefully arranged, I refer you to La Princesse de Clèves. See also Sarah Pomeroy's comments on Book 6 lines 270-385 in the previous thread.

Although perhaps you consider all sex before the 60s to be rape or joyless procreation, in which case we can start a new thread about the Wife of Bath's tale or Margery Kempe.


Edit: to be clear, no goat-getting was deliberately sought and no heffalump traps were laid - I genuinely think my sugar-coated reading is defensible

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:29 am
by seanjonesbw
Here are some translations of 66-67.

“So she coaxed, too shy to touch on her hopes for marriage, young warm hopes, in her father’s presence” - Fagles

“So she spoke, but she was ashamed to speak of her joyful marriage to her dear father” - Lattimore

“She had no word to say of her own wedding, though her keen father saw her blush” - Fitzgerald

“She spoke in this way because she was too shy to mention to her father the subject of marriage and all it promises” - Rieu

I concede that Wilson reads this much more neutrally, and there is something interesting to be said about four men reading her hopeful expectation of marriage while a women leaves in the ambiguity about why she feels shy.

“She said this since she felt too shy to talk of marriage to her father” - Wilson

But her translation of Nausikaa doing an impression of a rude Phaeacian later is interesting:

"Better if she has found herself a man
from elsewhere, since she scorns the people here,
although she has so many noble suitors"

Nausikaa seems to believe, at least, that she has agency in the matter.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:51 pm
by seneca2008
I think the translations you quote are valuable and illustrate how this romanticisation can creep into our understanding, and become part of the "meaning" of the text. That the four male translators augment the text in a broadly similar way is a stark contrast to Wilson and the Greek. I can understand why they translated it the way they did but it does reveal their expectations of this scene.

I think that when we hear Nausicaa speak it is as well to remember that this is a man ventriloquising. Moreover, she asks for the wagon because Athena has told her to. Rather than female agency I see conformity. There is a passage in the next session which I find subversive but again I thought it was also comic. But the Odyssey is such a rich text and so embedded in our culture that it would be extraordinary if we didn't find many meanings.
In what way is Homer evoking this parallel unless we bring our own 21st century mores to the table to force the comparison?
As I have said before this is all we can do. There is no escaping the present and our "values". I was sharing my act of reception, I make no claims that it should be yours. I wouldn't argue very hard for my "reaction" but when I read this text again recently it stuck me forcibly and I thought it worth sharing.
Status - do you simply mean 'their lot' or something more? Elite women - Phaeacian elite women?
By status I mean how they fit into the hierarchy of the society depicted. And I was generalising about the elite women depicted in the Odyssey. Of course this tells us nothing certain about any "historical" "elite" "women".
"What you call love was invented by guys like me" - I just don't buy that your parents exerting control over your marriage precludes love, infatuation, adoration, and that these things have only been possible since 1962 or whatever time limit you want to put on it.
This goes back to our differing view of the tension between an alien past and a familiar present. If the past is alien then how can we understand it? How can we avoid collapsing the past into the present and imaging that the alien past is essentially the same as the present? All difficult questions but well considered by Martindale.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:51 pm
by seanjonesbw
Paul Derouda wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:02 am
Really, all I meant was that some kind introduction would be helpful before engaging that book.
Sorry if this came across at all tetchy - I genuinely do think that I would benefit from something written by an expert rather than the more entry-level stuff I've read.
Paul Derouda wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:21 am
Historically, marriages were arranged by the family in many if not most human societies, and they still are. Luckily we know how wrong everybody else is and has always been. The correct interpretation of this is of course that a poor young person (let's not "girl" her, to avoid categorizing her according to the fallacious concept of gender) is being brutally exploited by her father the phallocrat without her even knowing it (here we can say "father", because clearly he is a man, and thus we can name the guilty party).
I can't tell how much of this is ironic!

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:45 pm
by seanjonesbw
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:51 pm
This goes back to our differing view of the tension between an alien past and a familiar present. If the past is alien then how can we understand it? How can we avoid collapsing the past into the present and imaging that the alien past is essentially the same as the present? All difficult questions but well considered by Martindale.
I want you to know that I keep asking questions about Martindale not to criticise but because you write very thoughtfully and passionately as his proselyte (not meant at all in a derogatory way - I think I've been proselytising on behalf of the eccentricities of I.A. Richards in a roundabout way). I really will read Redeeming the Text when I have a spare moment, but I've thought more about where our difference really lies in the meantime.

As far as you've laid out his theoretical position, I don't see anything to disagree with. In fact, it's all quite attractive. I particularly like the idea of these texts interacting 'backwards and 'forwards'.

My real question is this: What does Martindale's literary critical praxis look like?

Richards asks us to set aside the author's biography, to look closely at the text and to engage in an act of performance which gives us the raw material for our conclusions. It is inevitably personal, and different reader response schools take this in different directions, but there is an assumption that these conclusions are, in part, 'portable' - that others can share aspects of your own performance and that you aren't just describing a completely independent experience. This is an oversimplification and I doubt it's news to you but it's worth going over. I don't find this approach is satisfying all the time but it has its benefits.

I don't really see what impact Martindale's claims have on our reading except to make us more self-aware about our own position within the web of reception. They don't seem to suggest that any particular reading is inadvisable, in the same way that Richards would argue reading Woolf in the light of mental illness or Wilfred Owen in the light of military service is to be avoided.

I want to know how we can read differently in the light of Martindale, rather than just having a richer self-awareness during reading. Otherwise you may have to accept that I'm trapped in my Homeric Jilly Cooper novel (Mills & Boon was harsh) with no escape.

Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 48-70

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:14 pm
by mwh
If Sean is trapped within his Jilly Cooper, just so is seneca trapped within his late-20th-century criticism. No way out. (Intertexuality and precision of critical language apart, I don't myself find Martindale that much different from Richards, only less insightful and sensitive.)

But to go back a bit:
seneca2008 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:37 am
We don't know what kind of man she's imagining who sets her heart aflutter but from this point we know that her wedding isn't just for propriety's sake. There is love, or at the very least puppy love, at stake too. I think the reader can't help imagining the 'meet cute' once we know this. Whether she expects to meet the tall dark handsome stranger on her trip to the pools or not, her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.
I don’t want to make myself unpopular by always questioning what I regard as blatant projection onto poor Homer’s text but this seems to be importing Mills and Boon in a wholly inappropriate way. I thought mwh’s post was a joke. Clearly I am missing something.
Sean already copied and engaged with this, and I hesitate to join the dialogue. But briefly: first, I didn’t mean my “tall dark handsome stranger” (the Mills&Boon bit) to be taken seriously; I tossed it in as perhaps too subtle a warning against clichéd over-romanticization. To talk of love is surely anachronistic. But Sean seems to me incontestably right to say “her dream seems to have spurred her into a state of wanting to be ready for such a meeting if it comes.”

That out of the way, the pair of questions I asked were less flip, an attempt to encourage us to distinguish properly between characters and readers, a distinction which I think is too easily elided, though I don't think there's any harm in succumbing temporarily to the illusion (created with extraordinary success) that his characters are real. (That gets us back to plausibility I suppose, but let that go.) On that level: Nausicaa says what she says—and her father successfully interprets her meaning (ὁ δὲ πάντα νόει) even though she hadn’t made it explicit. I find this very interesting (the narrator's telling us so, I mean)—but let that go too. Aren’t we readers are in a position analogous to his, inescapably imagining intentions and expectations etc behind what people actually say (just as we do in real life), and no less inescapably reaching for the poet’s meaning, behind or beyond that?

Sorry this post is not more coherent.