One Man Show: Poetics and Presence in the Iliad and Odyssey

  Kretler, Katherine. 2020. One Man Show: Poetics and Presence in the Iliad and Odyssey. Hellenic Studies Series 78. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.


This book has its origins in my University of Chicago dissertation. I treasure my conversations with my advisors: first, the late David Grene, who demanded that every act of translation be a performance, and then James Redfield, Laura Slatkin and the late Paul Friedrich. Each of these brilliant scholars opened to me doors of reading and thinking and encouraged me to strike out on the path that led to this book.

At Chicago, I benefited greatly from rich discussions that followed workshop presentations within the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Classics. Thanks to all the students in my Iliad seminar at Chicago’s Graham School, whose enthusiasm buoyed me in the beginning stages of writing. Many colleagues, friends and students generously critiqued and encouraged individual chapters at various stages: special thanks to Elizabeth Adkins, A. P. David, Lillian Doherty, Nancy Felson, Douglas Frame, Peter Heraty, Ralph Johnson, Gregory Nagy, Mark Payne, and Seth Schein. I would also like to thank the anonymous reader for CHS for many helpful suggestions. Thanks to Jill Curry Robbins for her expertise in shepherding the manuscript through to publication, and also to Raleigh Browne for proofreading assistance.

Thanks to Paul Ballard, Peter Mann, and Oren Riggs, who helped improve the diagrams.

I am grateful that I could call upon Jeremiah Wall’s bardic ear for the spoken word and his intolerance for academese; he supported me in innumerable ways.

Thank you to my family for their patient support.

Thank you to Paul Mathai for his skepticism, unstinting encouragement, frank criticisms, and innumerable suggestions at all stages of this project. To the extent that I have gotten something said in this book, it is thanks to him.



Portions of the discussion of Aristotle’s Poetics in the Introduction, and of the discussion of Phoenix’s speech in Chapter 2, also appear in my essay in Thinking the Greeks: A Volume in Honour of James M. Redfield, edited by Bruce M. King and Lillian Doherty (Routledge 2018).