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Omeros por Derek Walcott
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Omeros (original 1990; edição 1992)

por Derek Walcott

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9851915,869 (3.86)106
A poem in five books, of circular narrative design, titled with the Greek name for Homer, which simultaneously charts two currents of history: the visible history charted in events -- the tribal losses of the American Indian, the tragedy of African enslavement -- and the interior, unwritten epic fashioned from the suffering of the individual in exile.… (mais)
Membro:freddlerabbit
Título:Omeros
Autores:Derek Walcott
Informação:Farrar Straus & Giroux Inc (1992), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 325 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

Omeros por Derek Walcott (1990)

Adicionado recentemente poroldecat, AnthonyTFS, sharvani, bernard_, ejmw, sandover
Bibliotecas LegadasGillian Rose
  1. 00
    Ulysses por James Joyce (TheLittlePhrase)
  2. 00
    Passage to Juneau por Jonathan Raban (thorold)
    thorold: Raban does in prose what Walcott does in verse for the diagonally-opposite corner of the continent.
  3. 00
    Sea of Lentils por Antonio Benítez Rojo (caitlinlizzy)
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Blurb:
Derek Walcott's Omeros is a poem in five books, of circular narrative design, titled with the Greek name for Homer, which simultaneously charts two currents of history: the visible history charted in events -- the tribal losses of the American Indian, the tragedy of African enslavement -- and the interior, unwritten epic fashioned from the suffering of the individual in exile.
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I picked this up back in the 1990s thinking I might be interested in the content, and to study the form. The story is set mainly on the island of St. Lucia, but also visits other major locals and time frames. As to form, Walcott claimed in an interview that the epic poem [story] was written in hexameter, but more accurately it's loosely reminiscent of terza rima. The 'story' roughly mimics the Iliad, and uses some of the major characters names.

The book had a lot of praise from such as The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and New Yorker, not mention wining some literary awards. All of which resulted in renewing my skepticism in following the sheep.

There were some parts I liked, so I gave it two stars instead of one. One and a half would be more accurate.
I guess I'm jus' not a high-brow :-) ( )
  LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
Simultaeneously such wonderful writing and a slog ( )
1 vote nushustu | Aug 5, 2019 |
Geïnspireerd door Homerus schrijft Walcott in drieregelige strofen het verhaal van de mensen in het Caraïbisch gebied, blanken en zwarten. Bij zwarten speelt hun familiegeschiedenis heel sterk mee: dromen, gevoelens uit Afrika komen veel voor, en het feit dat ze als slaaf naar het Caraïbisch gebied gebracht werden. Achilles en Hector zijn zwarten, en zij zijn verliefd op Helena, ook zwart. Helena werkt onder meer voor een blank echtpaar. Hij is ex-militair en hij probeert de geschiedenis van zee- en veldslagen op en rond het eiland te beschrijven.
Walcott schrijft dus geen verhaal dat op de Ilias of de Odyssee lijkt, maar verwerkt allerlei motieven daaruit en uit andere werken uit de literatuurgeschiedenis, in zijn eigen verhaal. Soms is het lastig om te begrijpen wie aan het woord is, vooral als tegen het eind van het verhaal de schrijver steeds vaker het woord lijkt te nemen.
Ik heb het niet zozeer als een doorlopend verhaal, maar meer als sfeertekening en schetsen van de gemoedstoestand van de personages gelezen.
1 vote wannabook08 | Jul 5, 2019 |
Dit is de tekst waarmee Han van der Vegts vertaling werd genomineerd voor de Filter Vertaalprijs 2018 -dus niet vooral een bespreking van Walcott's epos:
In Omeros (1990), een postkoloniale herschrijving van de Odyssee van Homerus en tevens een ode aan zijn geboorte-eiland Santa Lucia in de Caraïben, voert Derek Walcott geen grote figuren op, maar vissers, vrijbuiters en outcasts die zonder dat ze het zelf weten vage afspiegelingen zijn van de Homerische helden. Het lange, verhalende gedicht werd al in 1994, nadat Walcott in 1992 de Nobelprijs voor literatuur was toegekend, goed vertaald door de dichter Jan Eijkelboom, maar Han van der Vegt – zelf ook dichter en schrijver – geeft Omeros in zijn nieuwe vertaling een geheel eigen draai. Hij weet zijn lezers op poëtische wijze mee te voeren in de Caribische wereld van Walcott, die meandert tussen heden en verleden – inclusief verwijzingen naar de slaventijd – waarin de geur van visnetten hangt, bomen geslacht worden om tot kano te worden omgevormd en niet alleen goudmakrelen en roodbaarzen, zeeanemonen, hoornkoraal en kaurischelpen, maar ook treurduiven, glanstroepiaals en spotvogels de biosfeer bevolken. De exotische Caribische flora en fauna wordt door Van der Vegt heel zorgvuldig en precies vertaald en Walcotts associatieve reeks beelden en metaforen weet Van der Vegt op een verrassende manier in te vullen zodat een nieuw dichterlijk universum ontstaat.

‘[…] Bananenbladeren knikten in de rollende
gramschap van hanen, wier kreten gilden als rood krijt
dat heuvels tekent op een bord. De branding mopperde
net als zijn schoolmeester op zijn doelbewuste wijze
van lopen. […]’

In zijn vertaling levert Van der Vegt bovendien een technisch hoogstandje door het rijmschema dat Walcott hanteert in zijn bijna 8000 verzen tellende gedicht over te nemen. De tekst bestaat uit zeven delen die zijn opgebouwd uit 64 hoofdstukken. Elk hoofdstuk bestaat uit drie delen die op hun beurt weer bestaan uit drieregelige strofen in terza rima, dat wil zeggen dat elk rijm in de drieregelige strofen drie keer wordt gebruikt (aba bcb cdc). Van der Vegt doet dit consequent, en terwijl Walcott dit principe zelf niet overal toepast, hanteert de vertaler een lossere rijmvorm: geen volrijm zoals Walcott meestal gebruikt, maar klinkerrijm en enjambement. Dat resulteert niet in een geconstrueerd geheel, maar in vloeiende klankrijke en ritmische poëzie. Het pidgin-Engels dat sommige personages spreken, vertaalt Van der Vegt niet letterlijk, dat zou een simplificerend effect opleveren, maar hij laat ze gewone taal spreken en dat lukt hem uitstekend. De openingszin van het gedicht ‘“This is how, one sunrise, we cut down them canoes”’ wordt bij Van der Vegt ‘“Zo gaat het als we de kano’s kappen bij zonsopgang”’. Elders lezen we: ‘“She happy, sir”’. Dat wordt ‘“Ze is gelukkig, meneer”.’
Van der Vegt weet eindeloos te variëren op de rijke woordenstroom van Walcott – de zee komt bijvoorbeeld voor in de meest uiteenlopende variaties – ‘de slag van branding die haar witte, sissende kraag uitspreidt over het kantwerk van de ree’ – en creëert zo een eigen poëtisch idioom. De Omeros van de dichter Van der Vegt is daarom niet alleen een virtuoze vertaling, maar ook een bijzonder, opzichzelfstaand nieuw gedicht. ( )
1 vote Harm-Jan | Jun 10, 2018 |
5. Omeros by Derek Walcott
published: 1990
format: 325 page Paperback
acquired: December
read: Jan 1-5, restarted Jan 8-18
rating: 5

From about 1667 to 1814, as the British and French fought for supremacy in the Caribbean and elsewhere, the strategically important island of St. Lucia was fought over numerous times and changed hands fourteen times. It became know as the "Helen of the West Indies". This is Walcott's pick-up point for his masterpiece.

It is, in its simplest sense, a story of the island of St. Lucia, one that brings in its history of conquest, extermination and slavery, and apparently the author's personal history, along with some selected context from around the world, and that focuses on the economic classes on the island, especially on the poverty. Walcott, in a magical touch, Homerizes everything. The poor islanders are given Homeric names, Achille, Hector, Philoctete, Helen and, of course, Omeros, who is blind. (Omeros is the phonetically correct spelling of the ancient Greek Author, Όμηρος.) Virgil's Sybil becomes Ma Kilman. The Englishman is named Denis Plunkett, and his Irish wife is Maud. The narrator never tells us his name, or that of his lost girlfriend he seeks to find or overcome, while neglecting his wife and children. Dante and Joyce leave their own traces, although I haven't read them couldn't appreciate this much.

Achille (pronounced A-sheel) and Hector do come to battle over Helen, Philoctete struggles with an infected and unhealing wound on his leg, and blind Omeros sees a great deal. And there is a vast finicky ocean to get lost in.

I've been shy to review this because I am not able to capture the impact of its language. The story is originally just context, an excuse for the expression Walcott makes of it. And it's astounding, even more so if you can apply Walcott's own voice, with its St. Lucian/Caribbean lilt. It's something to live in for a bit.

I found that I was ok following, and then about halfway through I was completely lost. (Achille is passed out on a boat, and winds his way to a river and then he's walking back across the ocean floor. I couldn't quite workout that he had gone backwards in time, to an African village along the banks of a large African river, even if I could get the generally hallucinatory feel.) So, I started using Shmoop, and then, as Walcott the narrator travels through the western major cities, bumping into James Joyce and whatnot, unnamed of course, I became completely dependent. I would read the Shmoop summary of a chapter first to get the story, then read the chapter itself for the language. Certainly a hackneyed way to read this. But it got me through with a degree of appreciation. If I was left with a sense it evolved for a time into something a little plot heavy, that probably says more about my reading style than the contents.

The overall impact for me was the sense of presence Walcott creates. Everything has a spiritual impact, or lives, in this language, in direct counter to that. Poverty, accidents, tourism, development all live as tragic counters to weakening divine spirits of these decedents of slavery. Parallels are brought in, heavily, with the extermination of the North American Indians, especially the well documented massacre at Wounded Knee, in 1890, in the midst of the ghost dance. Walcott, in interviews, says that he is angry. But his poem is not exactly, or not simply that. It's both more circumspect and, on the surface at least, pledging some variation of hope.

2018
https://www.librarything.com/topic/279863#6353501 ( )
5 vote dchaikin | Jan 26, 2018 |
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A poem in five books, of circular narrative design, titled with the Greek name for Homer, which simultaneously charts two currents of history: the visible history charted in events -- the tribal losses of the American Indian, the tragedy of African enslavement -- and the interior, unwritten epic fashioned from the suffering of the individual in exile.

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