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How a Classical Homer occasionally downgrades the heroic glory of Ajax in order to save it: Part 1

2021.05.24 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this essay, as in two previous essays posted in Classical Inquiries( (Nagy 2021.05.10, linked here, and 2021.05.17, linked here), I posit again the idea of a “Classical Homer,” that is, the Homer of “our” Iliad and Odyssey as reflected in the textual tradition that has survived down to our own time. The myths represented by this Homer of ours correspond, more rather than… Read more

How even a Classical Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax

2021.05.17 | By Gregory Nagy §0. Going beyond what I attempted in the previous essay, where I tried to show that Pindar’s version of Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax (Nagy 2021.05.10, linked here), I will now try to show that “our” version of Homer might also be viewed as such a source of salvation—even though “our” Homer differs from Pindar’s Homer by shining relatively less… Read more

How Pindar’s Homer might save from harm the heroic glory of Ajax

2021.05.10 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In this essay I attempt to explain, though only in its barest outlines, Pindar’s poetic project of picturing ‘Homer’ as a potential savior of the glory deserved by Ajax, hero of Salamis—despite this Homer’s generally indiscriminate taste, it is claimed, for greedily savoring all the delicacies of all the myths cooked up for him by way of epic poetry—I use the word ‘myths’ here… Read more

On the idea of dead poets as imagined by T. S. Eliot, compared with ideas about reperformance, Part III

2021.04.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In Part III of this essay, continuing from Part I (Nagy 2021.04.17, linked here) and Part II (Nagy 2021.04.24, linked here), I return for the third and last time to what T. S. Eliot said (1919 [1975]:38) about the poet he was in his youth—and about any aspiring poet in general: “the most individual parts of his work,” he said, “may be those in… Read more

On the idea of dead poets as imagined by T. S. Eliot, compared with ideas about reperformance, Part II

§0. In Part II of this essay, continuing now from Part I (Nagy 2021.04.17), I return to what T. S. Eliot said (1919 [1975]:38) about the poet he was in his youth—and about any aspiring poet in general: “the most individual parts of his work,” he said, “may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously.” In Part I, I applied this idea of… Read more