Singing across the Faultlines: Cultural Shifts
in Twentieth-Century Receptions of Homer
The year of the 'Homer in the Twentieth Century' Conference, 2004, was important for Homeric anniversaries. The one hundredth anniversary of Bloomsday was celebrated on 16 June, marked, among other events, by tours of Dublin mapping the places visited in James Joyce's Ulysses by Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, and inscribing their Odyssean associations into the present-day tourist map of Dublin. The ReJoyce Dublin 2004 web site included details of 'The Land of the Cyclops' walking tour culminating in the Sirens Bar of the Ormonde Hotel and presented a picture of 'Edwardian Dublin [which] formed the back-drop for cat and mouse games of intrigue between political agitators, socialists, Fenians, spies and informers'.1
Also in mid-2004 (29 May to 1 June), the publication of a new Arabic translation of the Iliad was marked by a conference in Cairo, 'Translation and Cultural Interaction'. This conference examined the role of Egypt and other civilizations of the Near and Middle East in the creation of Homeric epic. The new translation, overseen by Ahmed Etman,2 has been published in what he describes as a 'luxurious edition'3 and was accompanied by the reissue, by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Culture, of a paperback edition of the most
1 http://www.rejoycedublin2004.com (last accessed 16 July 2004).
2 Professor of Classics in the University of Cairo and President of the Egyptian
Comparative Literature Association.
3 Personal communication, June 2004.