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Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World: The Poetics of Community
With his plays drawn from Greek mythology and his evocative epic hymn to the Caribbean, Omeros, Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has forced many to rethink the relationships between archaic Greek society and the contemporary world. Joseph Farrell, known especially for his work on classical epic, takes up a debate as to whether Omeros can be considered an epic at all, and suggests that in forcing us even to ask this question, Walcott demands that we reassess the position and assumed supremacy of Western literary epic. In demonstrating the complex relationship of Omeros to the tradition of classical epic, Farrell reveals the contingencies of that tradition and the richness ofWalcott's poem as a work that straddles both epic and novel, classical and modern, scribal and oral.
Farrell, Joseph. (1997). Walcott’s Omeros: The Classical Epic in a Postcolonial World. In Suzanne Wofford, Margaret Beisinger, and Jane Tylus (Eds.), Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World: The Poetics of Community, (pp. 247-273). Berkeley: University of California Press.
Date Posted: 12 January 2017