The theme of travel is present in the literature of all time, from classical antiquity to present days. The hero, therefore, has become a symbol: Odysseus. He is clever, curious about every experience, willing to risk in order to satisfy the desire for knowledge; Ulysses is the man sensitive to family affection, longing to finally land the much missed home: his journey, then, is the need to rediscover the roots, to give security to existence. From Homer’s poem the figure of Ulysses was handed over to the subsequent literature as a “hero of knowledge”.
Ulysses (in greek Ὀδυσσεύς , Odysseus) Half hero, half man. Hero of which you can not do without, who knows how to overcome obstacles with intelligence.
He is the prototype of modern man, contradictory, experienced, adventurous, wise, clever but mostly CURIOUS. Subject to Fate, but also master of its own destiny, ” homo faber fortunae suae.”
Ulysses represents the Journey, the Adventure, he is Freedom, is Research in all its variations, and it is LIFE itself cause life itself is all these things. A journey that encompasses the duality between loyalty to the roots and the challenge of research and full knowledge of “the Other”. And ‘ risk of loss , but also the promise of conquest.
Our natural urge to always searching for New, the instinctive attraction to what separates us from the realities unknown , the ability to adapt to unpredictable situations.
This is the eternal journey of ourselves in search of ourselves, of who and what we really are!
Ulysses is a hero that crosses the border, is a man who wants to go deeper into Knowledge.
Many authors have written on the myth of Ulysses , giving each one a different reading but he is always the most fascinating and enigmatic of the literature.
Dante describes Odysseus as a hero of the rebellion and free-thinking , which goes beyond the Pillars of Hercules because it does not tolerate limitations. Mainly highlights the desire for knowledge and imagines his last trip with his teammates over the mythical Columns where it was written ” Non plus ultra “. Limit beyond which the medieval man sees the unknown, destruction and death..the end of the world.
“Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Nietzsche is about a superman, free to build his own destiny, above moral and social laws , following stress and instinctive impulses. D’Annunzio imagines Odysseus like a hero – symbol of navigation, as the personification of the superman, the one that rises above the. Always him, the bard/poet , coined the word “Ulisside” to indicate a person inclined to travel.
For Joyce‘s Ulysses the journey is within, he is the absolute anti-hero , not larger spaces not units of time, place and action.
Ulysses becomes the emblem of a free life and of an heroic fullness.
But we all are “Ulysses” or indeed: “Odysseus”; you are, I am.
When the exclamation mark that we use as our compass snaps, becomes a question mark, and takes us off guard and forces us to open that map of our Existence, to follow with our finger the Roads and investigate those reasons which, at every junction, drive us to take just that one and not the other direction.
Everyone follows his way, imagining his way , everyone is looking for the hidden corners , although sometimes the stories go wrong, theese are just doors behind doors, everything remains the same and everything will change, maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe tomorrow will be worse; but tomorrow, as today is just temporary.
Maybe you are just traveling to get lost..or maybe you are traveling with a goal, living your trip as if each second were the last one; trying to understand what it is this thing that we created and that at some point gets out of hand, enslaves us and kills us, the closer you get the further it goes away: our Knowledge and consciousness!
And traveling beacuse we don’t really know our destination, traveling between Life and Dream, Mortality and Immortality.
Mortality in a sense, so desired by Odysseus, because his desire to return home is so much strong to refuse immortality, he refuses an endless life offered him by Calypso on her island…Is the Journey a perpetual return, to themselves?
We can land anywhere, but we will never disembark from ourselves.
Have you ever thought of a trip following the footsteps of our hero Ulysses? In the meanwhile, you might look for inspiration here:
“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone.” Alfred Tennyson
- Life is a Pyramid Scheme (anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordpress.com)
- Analyses over “Ulysses”-Alfred Lord Tennyson (christophercummingsengl2230.wordpress.com)
- Ulysses (James Joyce) (bestofebooks.wordpress.com)