Homer and gender . . . again.
This confuses me, because the article ends with, "The issue, he said, lay in whether the same person wrote both poems. 'Most of us now believe the same person did.'"
I hardly know what the latest arguments on Homer are right now, but I thought we were suspecting different authors? At least, that's the last I heard on the topic.
I also hope this guy is going to advance the argument better than Samuel Butler did in his Authoress of the Odyssey. For one, if you're going to argue subject matter as an indicator of gender, you are sorely mistaken, my friend. Personally, I believe it's entirely possible that a person of either gender wrote both works (or a group of mixed genders, even), and it's pretty ludicrous to believe you can prove it one way or another--short of finding some authoritative text that says something about the author(s) of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even the programs we have for analyzing English lit for the gender of an author is not all that reliable, and this is a completely different language for which we have relatively few samples!
That leaves us with a whole load of speculation that can be no more than just that--speculation.
I really don't understand the fascination with figuring this one out. And by the GODS, I hope we've advanced far enough in gender issues that this book won't read like Samuel "I'm a patronizing ass" Butler. Um, yeah, I suppose I have some strong feelings about that book.
Ohhh, does anybody remember the Xena episode where Gabrielle meets and inspires Homer?? ;-)