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Black OdysseysThe Homeric Odyssey in the African Diaspora since 1939$
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Justine McConnell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605002.001.0001

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The ‘Unread’ Homer: Derek Walcott’s Omeros and The Odyssey: A Stage Version

The ‘Unread’ Homer: Derek Walcott’s Omeros and The Odyssey: A Stage Version

Chapter:
(p.106) (p.107) 3 The ‘Unread’ Homer: Derek Walcott’s Omeros and The Odyssey: A Stage Version
Source:
Black Odysseys
Author(s):

Justine McConnell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605002.003.0004

This chapter offers complex responses to Homer’s epics, which engage with Homer’s centrality to the Western canon, and, in a move that reflects the ‘hybridity’ Walcott acclaims as a facet of Caribbean identity, are specifically Caribbean as well. At the same time, he is wary of Afrocentrism, as reflected in the nekuian reverse Middle Passage of Omeros. Walcott sees close connections between the two archipelagos of Greece and the Caribbean, while rejecting that either has primacy over the other. His responses to Homer are all the more radical for their refusal either to invert or to collude in the traditional readings of the Odyssey.

Keywords:   Walcott, Omeros Odyssey, Afrocentrism, hybridity, nekuia, combat trauma

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