Epic Amnesia: Healing and Memory in <i>Omeros</i>

Paul Breslin

in Nobody's Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226074269
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074283 | DOI:
Epic Amnesia: Healing and Memory in Omeros

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This chapter analyzes the poem Omeros. It makes a case for the poem's critique of its own analogical method, but suggests that it is impossible, after multiple rereadings, to feel that the whole poem is built with that critique in mind. Too many parts of it seem sincerely invested in the Homeric analogy critiqued elsewhere or simply unaware that their reaching for analogies is strained. It is argued that the self-critique may have emerged in the course of composition, and that Walcott could not (or would not) integrate the portions he had already completed into his belated insight. Nonetheless, Omeros remains a great poem, large in scope and sympathies, with much unforgettable writing.

Keywords: Derek Walcott; Homeric analogy; analogical method

Chapter.  14174 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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