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Regarding Penelope : from character to poetics

Author: Nancy Felson
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
A coy tease, enchantress, adulteress, irresponsible mother, hard-hearted wife - such are the possible images of Penelope that Homer playfully presents to listeners and readers of the Odyssey, and that his narration ultimately contradicts or fails to confirm. In Regarding Penelope, Nancy Felson-Rubin explores the relationship between Homer's construction of Penelope and his more general theory of poetic production
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Homer; Homer.; Homère; Homère.; Homère (08..?-08..? av. J.-C.).; Pénélope, (mythologie grecque).; Homère; Homer.
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Nancy Felson
ISBN: 0691032289 9780691032283
OCLC Number: 27976492
Description: xii, 215 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Ch. 1. Poetry as Courtship --
Ch. 2. Weaver --
Ch. 3. Wife --
Ch. 4. Mother --
Ch. 5. Heroine --
Ch. 6. Siren --
Ch. 7. From Character to Poetics.
Responsibility: Nancy Felson-Rubin.
More information:

Abstract:

A coy tease, enchantress, adulteress, irresponsible mother, hard-hearted wife - such are the possible images of Penelope that Homer playfully presents to listeners and readers of the Odyssey, and that his narration ultimately contradicts or fails to confirm. In Regarding Penelope, Nancy Felson-Rubin explores the relationship between Homer's construction of Penelope and his more general theory of poetic production and reception.

Felson-Rubin begins by considering Penelope as an object of male gazes (those of Telemakhos, Odysseus, the suitors, and Agamemnon's ghost) and as a subject acting from her own desire. Focusing on how the audience might try to predict Penelope's fate when confronted with the different ways the male characters envision her, she develops the notion of "possible plots" as structures in the poem that initiate the plots Penelope actually plays out.

She then argues that Homer's manipulation of Penelope's character maintains the narrative fluidity and the dynamics of the Odyssey, and she reveals how the oral performance of the poem teases and captivates its audience in the same way Penelope and Odysseus entrap each other in their courtship dance. Homer, Felson-Rubin further explains, exploits the similarities between the poetic and erotic domains, often using similar terminology to describe them.

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