Book in French. Who doesn't know Ulysses, from the earliest years, as a figure of the most ancient European literature?
Everyone thinks he knows him, on the basis of two Homeric poems only. But this study provides for the first time an in-depth analysis of the origins of this fictional character, in all his complexity.
For from the introductory verse of the Odyssey, he is said to be polytropos, a term difficult to translate: complicated, devious, protean, cleaved, dubious or malignant? Undoubtedly, unlike Achilles and at a closer look, he is neither simple, nor powerful, nor brilliant. He has been imagined as a mirror to Peleides, and also from a dark and primitive model, many traces of which can be found in the epics and elsewhere: a sort of a demon, a mean and astute woods runner, the Anglo-Saxon trickster.
Gradually, as he gets integrated in the two poems, the sinister Olisseus is transfigured to become this hero we only want to see under a favourable light, the one we consider to be worthy of being mentioned in textbooks, the Odysseus. He had to be dedicated an immense work, the Odyssey, to access humanity and light from an animal and original night... (see more details)
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Ulysses | Odyssey | Homer | Sisyphus | Ithaca | Laertes