MYTHICAL ARCHETYPES OF THE GREEK CULTURAL MODEL. THE ULYSSEAN MYTH IN LITERATURE. FROM HOMER TO KAZANTZAKIS
This paper deals with the dual tradition of the myth of Ulysses in Greek and European literature: the myth of the “Nostos” (desire and struggle to return to the hometown) according to the model of the Homeric Odyssey; and the myth of the new exodus of Ulysses from Ithaca (“second Odyssey”) which traces its origin to a non-surviving epic poem of the Trojan Cycle. The comparative study of these two traditions concludes that both versions of the myth have borne large poetic and narrative works bearing succinctly distinctive cultural codes. These codes define the orientation and the value-system of the corresponding works and reference two different cultural models. The first, pertaining to the tradition of homecoming, is related with the norms of the cultures of locality, where identity and self-consciousness is defined by the connection with the land and the local community (Greek Mediterranean model). The second, pertaining to the tradition of the second Odyssey, is related with the cultures of time, which are characterized by constant forward movement, adventurous wandering, change, the conquest of new lands, where the focus lies in the subjective perception of the world and morals and the omnipotence of the intellect (western model of the industrial age). Conclusion: the Ulyssean myth of the “Nostos” constitutes one of the mythical archetypes that define the orientation and the value-system of the Greek cultural model.