Vincenzo di Benedetto: Homeric studies

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This article attempts to assess Vincenzo Di Benedetto's contribution to the study of Homeric epic, focusing on his monograph Nel Laboratorio di Omero (second edition 1998) and his commentary on the Odyssey (2010). Di Benedetto's position on the Homeric Question (i.e. his polemical insistence on a single literate poet for the Iliad, and a different one for the Odyssey) limited his influence on other Homeric scholars, but also enabled him to develop a densely interesting reading of the texts. This article attempts to place his work in the context of his own biography, but also to use it as a tool to diagnose wider tensions in Homeric studies. Appeals to the poet Homer have diametrically opposed effects in textual criticism and literary interpretation: They lead some scholars to intervene radically on the text (e.g. West), and others to offer interpretations that defend the vulgate (Di Benedetto). Among his many valuable contributions to literary interpretation, the present article privileges Di Benedetto's views on the relationship between narrator, characters and audience, his treatment of repetitions and his approach to poetry and power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages18
JournalAnnali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Classe di Lettere e Filosofia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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