SUPERVISED BY: Dr. Johannes Haubold
TITLE: Homer's Poetics of Darkness
Ever since antiquity, Homer has been famous for the luminescent vividness of his narrative (enargeia). In my dissertation, I study Homer’s poetics of darkness, that is to say, the way in which the poet exploits scenes where human, as well as divine, eye-sight is reduced to a minimum. Hades as the place of darkness par excellence, and consequently Odyssey 11 as the book devoted to the Underworld, are the central focus of my research. I argue that through a close reading of the Nekyia as well as the few passages where Hades is described in the Iliad we can recover a different poetics from that of traditional Muse narrative: a poetics of darkness that showcases the bard’s ability to access layers of meaning which are inaccessible even to the Muses. This poetics, I argue, shows affinities with lyric poetry in that it employs human intermediaries, emphasises individual experience and presents itself as self-consciously alternative to the epic mainstream.