n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Aimé césaire and the Cyclops of Theocritus, Idyll 11 : miscellanea
|Article Title||Aimé césaire and the Cyclops of Theocritus, Idyll 11 : miscellanea|
|© Publisher:||Classical Association of South Africa (CASA)|
|Journal||Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa|
|Affiliations||1 University of Cape Town|
|Publication Date||Jan 2014|
|Pages||246 - 248|
In her recently published book, Black Odysseys, Justine McConnell writes illuminatingly about the Homeric Odyssey as an intertext in Aimé Césaire's 'landmark poem for anticolonialism', Cahier d'un Retour au Pays Natal. In particular, McConnell discusses 'a pivotal episode of the poem' in which the narrator encounters an ugly poverty-stricken black man on a tram and is complicit with others in laughing at him. Given that the narrator of Cahier is cast as a kind of Odysseus returning (if only in imagination) to the land of his birth, McConnell rightly takes the black man he encounters to be a Cyclops figure, whom the narrator regards as a loathsome 'Other', just as Odysseus regarded the monstrous Polyphemus in Odyssey 9.
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