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(texte français: cliquez ici)   Our friend Odysseus
Odysseus' nautical world
A cosmological interpretation
Sea routes and the epic text
The routes home
Rounding Cape Malea
6 Toward a New World
7 Mythological figures for stopovers
From the next World to this world
9 In Odysseus'wake. Arrival at Ithaka
10 Ithaka, Ormos Polis
Ithaka, the islet of Daskalio
12 Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew
13 At the Arethuse source
14 The periplus to Ithaka
15 Our friend Odysseus

Odysseus is not only a demi-god of the navigation and discovery. He is a hero of the return home and of change : Is he not our contemporary ?
The navigations of discovery celebrated by Homer and attributed to his epic and mythological figure : Odysseus.
"Odysseus discovers sea passes, landscapes and men of a new world. He pushes back the limits encircling the Greeks in a world they think to be finite. Historians present him as the advanced representative of a Greek new age, that of colonial expeditions : a "proto-colonial" hero. But he is always guided by his aim : the return. His adventures have not only a meaning, but a direction, the orient to which he sails : Ithaka, his starting point. Odysseus is indeed a hero of the discovery. He does not hesitate to order to go farther, always farther. But one discovers only as far as one is able to come back to relate what one has learnt, experienced : the explorer who dies at the far end of the world has not discovered anything. When one comes back, one finds that all has changed : one's country, one's family and oneself other too.
Odyseus is in that our contemporary. The limits of our 21th-century world have been pushed back as far as it is conceivable today. Which new world shall we have to explore"? We do not know, no more than Odysseus anticipated what he would meet. Homer offers the Greeks of his time a new model of hero to think of the future times. The poet offers us, who have other navigations to make in another new world, other Ithakas to discover, better than a sumptuous fiction : an "instruction", as the sailors say."

Jean Cuisenier, Le Périple d'Ulysse, 2003, p.389  
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