Arquivo para May 11th, 2022

Ulysses, Modern Novel and War

11 May

The whole structure of the modern novel almost always unfolds around the modern romantic hero, so it is necessary that in the end he is realized within his personal objective and that has the appearance of universal, the Kantian aphorism of ethics: “Acts as if the maxim of your action should become, through your will, a universal law”, but it starts from the individual and not from the whole.

The whole is for the holistic, and in a certain way for the mystical, as they must be understood from the mythical characters of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (928 BC-898 BC) to the characters of James Joyce’s Odysseus (1882-1941) .

In both there is a hero, Homer’s Ulysses and Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, a woman Penelope from Homer and Molly Bloom from Joyce, a son Telemachus from Homer’s Ulysses and Stephen Dedalus in Joyce’s novel, who goes to study in Paris and when he returns living in a circular fort called the Hammer Tower, with a rival Malachi and Buck Bullighan, the novel is written in the war period between 1914 and 1921 and a vision of the end of the world is a setting for Joyce.

In the Odyssey Ulisses will be away from home for 10 years, leaving Penelope and Telemaco, in Joyce’s novel, he puts Leopold Bloom in crisis with his wife’s betrayal and his son’s distance, updating filial (philia) and erotic (eros) love, but the The problem of agápe love is placed at the center of the crisis, which can be a common thread between the classical and the modern novel.

Another thread is the type of hero, the epic hero is a warrior who goes to war for the love of his people while the modern one faces war individually, in the fashion of Don Quixote and in the face of Kantian ethics, last week were made post of Kant’s Perpetual Peace and its limitations, but the root is in the distance from agape, a world of conquests and power where the interest prevails over the common good.

Agape love is not just religious or even altruistic, it exists in institutions for the poor, exiles, drug addicts, emigrants and efforts in the Pandemic, without them the number of dead and excluded in society would have already caused greater social crises than and would leave civilization without a perspective and without hope.

Joyce, James. (1983) Ulysses, Transl. António Houaiss. Portugal: Difel. (pdf) *in portuguese.

HOMERO.  (2015) Ilíada e Odisseia, transl. Carlos Alberto Nunes. Brazil: Editora Nova Fronteira. (pdf) *in portuguese.