Homer Joyce & Kazantzakis: Odysseys

A Global Great Books program course

Homer (about 800 BC) tells the story of The Odyssey
James Joyce (20th century, AD) tells the story of Leopold Bloom's journey in consciousness and through Dublin. Bears the marks of the new consciousness of the unconscious.
Nikos Kazantzakis (20th century AD) tells the story of Ulysses after the events of Homer's Odyssey. A more concentrated paean to pagan powers.

We begin by reading one of the consensus classics and continue with two astonishing works of the imagination based on it. Joyce's work takes place in one day in Dublin — now called Bloom's Day, June 16. Its form is influenced by Homer's work, but quite taken with the recent problem of consciousness. Quite differently, Kazantzakis — more famous for his The Last Temptation of Christ — took the end of Homer's work as his point of departure. Odysseus returns home to a place that no longer holds any interest for him. So he takes off again with some lusty fellows to continue the journey that now bears his name. One of the most remarkable aspects of Kazantzakis's work is that it is a 33,333 line poem in 20th century vernacular Greek. We'll read it in translation of course, and reading it aloud will offer some of the energetic highlights of the course.

If you need further reasons to join us: Joyce's work is fundamental in originating stream-of-consciousness novels. Kazantzakis is a student of Nietzsche's philosophy, and his Ulysses is a kind of ubermensch. This course constitutes an opportunity to test out these modern forms of consciousness while investigating the very notion of classics.

In order to make it possible to experience these radically different books most intensely and appreciate them thoroughly, we'll not only carry on a discussion motivated by important questions, but READ PASSAGES ALOUD.

Whatever our regular schedule, part of the reading of Joyce's work will occur on Bloom's Day.

Teacher: Eric Buck
Schedule: To be determined with students, beginning in June and running until August
Location: To be determined with students
Cost: $12/hour of meeting time per student (lower rate if more than 5 enroll)
To enroll in this course

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