Remarks by Michèle Lowrie
Seth Benardete Memorial Service, February 1, 2002
When Seth Benardete turned back to Homer, forty years after writing his dissertation on the Iliad, he found the pivotal moment of the Odyssey in Odysseus’ rejection of immortality, which is somehow his destiny and his deliberate choice at once — and which expressed, in Benardete’s understanding, the core of what it is to be human.
I’m going to read to you from the fifth book of the Odyssey and I’ll start with Odysseus’ response to Calypso — a few lines in Greek, and then I’ll read a few pages from Mandelbaum’s translation to put these lines in context.
[Prof. Lowrie read in Greek: Odyssey, 5.214-225, in the Oxford Classical Text, ed. Thomas W. Allen.]
[Prof. Lowrie read in English: pages 97-102 from the Mandelbaum (Penguin Classic) translation of Odyssey 5.77-225, from “Calypso, brightest goddess, seeing Hermes…” through “These were his words. The sun sank. Darkness came.”]
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