Mediterranean July – Greece
Our trip to the Mediterranean stops in Greece with the presentation of a talk, organised by the Greek Embassy in Ireland in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Ireland, and the support of the Instituto Cervantes Dublin.
Homer is the cornerstone of ancient Greek poetic tradition and of Western literature. The hero of his great poem, the Odyssey, is Odysseus, a wily adventurer whose identity is always a mystery, a hero who wanders for ten years struggling to survive and get back home.
Homer’s Odysseus does survive, of course, not only to the end of Homer’s plot but also in Western literature, to this day. Best known, perhaps, is his re-enactment as the central figure of Jame’s Joyce’s great novel Ulysses (the Latin name for the Greek Odysseus).
In Joyce’s literary masterpiece, Odysseus is Mr. Leopold Bloom, a Dubliner, the son of a Jewish immigrant, a man who relishes gizzards and roast mutton kidneys, a “nobody” who wanders through Dublin over the course, not of ten years of adventure, but of just a single, ordinary day.
So, what do the great ancient Greek hero Odysseus and James Joyce’s modern Dubliner and everyman Leopold Bloom have in common? Can they – being so different – have anything in common? In this talk, Ahuvia Kahane, Regius Professor of Greek (1761) at Trinity College Dublin, suggests that Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, these two great figures without qualities, like the Odyssey and Ulysses, like Homer and Joyce, share absolutely everything…