Homer’s Odyssey: from classical poetry to threshold graphic narratives for dual readership


This article’s focus is some unconventional adaptations of the Odyssey in graphic language, belonging to the threshold literary field and contextualized in different historical and cultural milieus. Since  ancient Greek literature in general and Homer in particular, ceased to be considered as sacred scripts, they discarded the centuries-long formalistic and idealistic approach and served as a vehicle for criticism or as a mirror of each  receiving culture’s present. The kind of relation established between each adaptation and its pre-text is defined by the inscribed meta-narratives in its body. The graphic adaptations under discussion, countercultural, demystifying or even subversive, participate in the so called “cross-audience phenomenon”, addressing a dual readership, both children and adults. They aim at undermining the heroic ethos, provoking skepticism and criticizing allusively the contemporary politics. They also trivialize the original by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation. This way they facilitate dialogue between past and present, by creating a contact zone within which pluralism is the major trait.

Key words: The Odyssey, classics’ reception, comic book adaptations, threshold literature, pluralism

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