Mark Cosins – Odysseus and Homecoming – Part 1

Lecture date: 2002-01-14

First in a three-part lecture series hosted at the AA by the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History. The homecoming of Odysseus as narrated in Homers epic has become a cultural trope in western thought. Starting with a personal reflection on his childhood memories of a life at a boarding school lived in constant anticipation of the return to a home that was both longed-for and ultimately disappointing in its banal familiarity.

Mark Cousins examines Odysseus return to Ithaca in relation to Heideggers Building Dwelling Thinking. He questions the Heideggerian relations of these eponymous terms and looks at other roots of words that link thinking not merely with building, but with wandering. The journey home as a problematic of narrativity, wandering as a paradigm for thought, the questioning of what home is, leads Cousins to propose that home, far from being anterior to the return, is the opposite – produced by its absence, its ideation.

Introduced by Griselda Pollock.


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