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Auerbach's musings on the Odyssey in Mimesis are relevant. One point Auerbach makes is that in classical antiquity there is nothing to interpret. The Odyssey is externalized, without depths.
Further, he points out the separation of high and low styles, pertaining to the servant women. Such treatment is only comic in their literary world.
Auerbach is a creature of the gymnasium world of turn of the century Middle Europe

Aaron Lercher

The "consolation" is for us moderns, but is false. We might be relieved not to hear more than the minimum about the violence required to restore Odysseus's patriarchal order. Then we hope, or imagine without much thought, that we've made progress since then.


But it is precisely because the women, nameless and dispassionately reported to have struggled 'not for long', are trivialized by Homer that *we* are prevented from forgetting them, under A&H's reading. Likewise, it is the attempt at consolation, by diverging the narrative time from the time of the events with the recollective 'not for long' (contra Auerbach, A&H read the Odyssey not as depthless, but as containing the emergence of complex textual layers, such as the arrested temporality discussed in this example) that makes the consolation fail.

They think Homer is being flippant, which inadvertently makes it hard for us to forget the suffering buried there. This kind of immanent critique is typical of the relationships between suffering, memory, and art in Adorno's aesthetic theory.

Also, I had very little familiarity with Homer before reading dialectic of enlightenment, and little classics knowledge overall. But I certainly did not find the chapter unreadable, if only because it's such a self-consciously modernist re-interpretation that actually eschews, to me, the trappings of old-school classicism. Still, interesting to read your post. Sorry about your Gymnasium-trauma

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