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W. B. STANFORD (1910–1984)
William Bedell Stanford was an Irish classical scholar and senator who lived through the transition of the south of Ireland from the United Kingdom to the Republic. As a senator he epitomized the change of outlook of those whose background had been Southern Unionist. A member of the Board of Trinity College, he often took an independent view, and was a participant in the integration of the College into the new Ireland. Stanford established himself as a Greek scholar in his twenties with the publication of two books that approached Greek literature as a subject for literary criticism, Greek Metaphor: Studies in Theory and Practice and Ambiguity in Greek Literature.
A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero
Fourth, revised and emended edition 2022
Paperback original, 454 pages, $28
ISBN: 978-0-88214-961-5
Kindle/Apple Books, $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-88214-963-9
Oedipus still dominates the psychoanalytic imagination, though Ulysses is a more central to Western tradition, from Virgil, Dictys, and Dante, the medieval and Renaissance Troy tales of Benoît de Sainte-Maure and Joachim du Bellay to the twentieth-century literary adaptations by James Joyce and Nikos Kazantzakis. Stanford’s delightfully readable and erudite, survey of the Ulysses figure revolutionizes conventional accounts of this hero. For here is a Ulysses with closer ties to wife, mother, nymphs, and goddesses than his fellow warriors, a faithful husband who dallies with seductive enchantresses, a man of valor who wins by deceit—the Trojan Horse. In his brilliantly challenging foreword, “The Classicist and the Psychopath,” Charles Boer brings the hero’s wanderings up to the twenty-first century by examining the strange fascination of academics with Ulysses and exposing the peculiar prejudices that are hidden in Classical scholarship.
Image of Chapter 1 with red-figure pyxis
If you only read one book in your life on Ulysses, be sure it’s Stanford’s!