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Do we have a new song yet? The new wave of women’s novels and the Homeric tradition

Goff, B. ORCID: (2022) Do we have a new song yet? The new wave of women’s novels and the Homeric tradition. Humanities, 11 (2). 49. ISSN 2076-0787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/h11020049


The relationship between women and classical antiquity, its texts, artefacts, and study, has been fraught to say the least; the discipline of Classics has often been defined by the exclusion of women, in terms of their education and their ability to contribute to debates more generally. However, we are currently in the middle of an astonishing period when women are laying more of a claim to the discipline than ever before. This article examines three recent novels by women which take on the cultural weight of the Homeric epics, Iliad and Odyssey, to explore the possibilities of a ‘new song’ that foregrounds female characters. The novels experiment with different narrative voices and are self-conscious about the practices of story-telling and of bardic song. Their awareness of their challenge to and contest with Homeric tradition renders their ‘new songs’ fragile as well as precious.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Modern European Histories and Cultures
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Identities
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:104558
Uncontrolled Keywords:Briseis; Circe; Calliope; Pat Barker; Madeline Miller; Natalie Haynes; Homer; narrator; bard; song


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