Sunday, June 28, 2015
John McDonald on the uncanny goddess.
[W]e will now determine how, in the oldest sense, deinon, the uncanny, for the Greeks can mean the unhomely, and then later pursue the determination into its culmination in Sophocles. In Homer, Kalypso is the deine theos, the uncanny Goddess, and is understood as preventing Odysseus from returning home. This is why Heidegger can understand the deinon as opposing the homely in the Greek. Athena says "[i]t is Laertes' son, whose home is in Ithaca. I have seen him on a certain Island, weeping most bitterly: this was in the domains of the nymph Kalypso who if keeping him with her there and thwarting return to his own country (from Odyssey, IV, 549-643).
The connection between Lustre and the uncarmy (deinon) that captures ones' eye, which is really the most important point of this whole thesis, and one that Heidegger does not ever make explicitly but in nonetheless central to his entire theory, is brought out quite explicitly when Hermes comes to the Island of Kalypso, the deine Theos, to demand the release of Odysseus, "[i]n the space within was the goddess herself, singing with a lovely voice, moving to and fro at her loom and weaving with a shuttle of Gold. Around the entrance a wood rose up in abundant growth - alder and aspen and fragrant cypress ... Even a Deathless One, if he came there, might gaze in wonder at the sight and might be happier in the heart (from Odyssey, V, 38-125)." The general point of the Odyssey is the absurdity of man's condition that he at all times abandons and neglects his hearth and family in the pursuit of adventure and the lustrous and that, in the end, the greatest and most lustrous beauty is nothing in comparison to what one already has anyway in the everyday of one's home.
P. 135, 137-8
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