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By Hermione de Almeida

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Extra resources for Byron and Joyce through Homer: Don Juan and Ulysses

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Whereas in the Odyssey the idyll with Nausicaa occurs at the end of the story, before the journey home, in Don Juan it is the first and only idyll of the tale; Juan's subsequent encounters with women are progressively less innocent and less idyllic. In Ulysses the episode is placed near the middle; but, immediately preceded by adultery and immediately succeeded Myth and Tradition 31 by whoring and sacrilege, it is undermined by the farce and shame of auto-eroticism. Juan must be both Odysseus and Telemachus, perversely young and old at the same time, playing father (to Leila) even as he is child himself.

Justifying mythic tradition in Don juan and Ulysses, Byron and Joyce find themselves justifying literary tradition- and reckoning with epic law- also. The transition from the one to the other is not so strange. Myth has always been the direct ancestor ofliterature. Epic has always been the primary tradition. Myth has always nourished a form of history ('Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle' 111, 90), with oral poetry preserving record before the advent of the historian: Mnemosyne, goddess of myth, soon became goddess of memory and record.

3 19). As Fame was invoked for the making of money in Tom jones, as the Bright Goddess was asked to not be too busy to look after Tristram, Byron and Joyce intone 'Oh ye! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations ... I pray ye flog them upon all occasions' (u, 2) and 'Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit' (p. 3 8 3). ' (a Dublin pub) becomes the magic word of light that ends an episode, disperses the seers of medicine, and heralds the message of salvation from a pidgin preacher selling quack cures.

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