Transportation and Homeric Epic

Date

2006

Authors

Power, Michael O'Neill

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the impact of transportation — the phenomenon of “being miles away” while receiving a narrative — on audience response. The poetics of narrative reception within the Homeric epics are described and the correspondences with the psychological concept of transportation are used to suggest the appropriateness and utility of this theory to understanding audience responses in and to the Iliad and Odyssey. The ways in which transportation complements and extends some concepts of narrative reception familiar to Homeric studies (the Epic Illusion, Vividness, and Enchantment) are considered, as are the ways in which the psychological theories might be adjusted to accommodate Homeric epic. A major claim is drawn from these theories that transportation fundamentally affects the audience’s interpretation of and responses to the narrative; this claim is tested both theoretically and empirically in terms of ambiguous characterization of Odysseus and the Kyklōps Polyphēmos in the ninth book of the Odyssey. Last, some consideration is given to the ways in which the theory (and its underlying empirical research) might be extended.

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Keywords

transportation, lost in a book, Iliad, Odyssey, Homer, reading style, character appraisal

Citation

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Type

Thesis (PhD)

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DOI

10.25911/5d7a2affe9b7b

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