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Nostalgia When Are We Ever at Home? Barbara Cassin Translated by Pascale-A nne Brault fordham university press New York 2016 1188774499--CCaassssiinn__NNoossttaallggiiaa.iinndddd iiiiii 1111//2244//1155 22::4488 PPMM.
contents Foreword by Souleymane Bachir Diagne ix Translator’s Note xi Of Corsican Hospitality 1 Odysseus and the Day of Return 9 Aeneas: From Nostalgia to Exile 29 Arendt: To Have One’s Language for a Homeland 41 Notes 65 vii 1188774499--CCaassssiinn__NNoossttaallggiiaa.iinndddd vviiii 1111//2244//1155 22::4488 PPMM.
Foreword Souleymane Bachir Diagne To the question “When are we ever at home?” Barbara Cassin offers here three answers represented by three ﬁ gures, the ﬁ rst two mythical and the last one real: Odysseus, Aeneas, and Hannah Arendt. The ﬁ rst character, Odysseus, who is characterized as “divine,” answers the question by con- tinuously deferring his “being back home”: even when he ﬁ nally gets there and joins his wife Penelope in the very bed he sculpted himself out of a living tree, making sure it would thus remain rooted and unmovable, he is again driven away after only three days by his very incapacity to inhabit a home. What his Odyssey teaches him—and us—is that “home is the Mediterranean,” meaning the open, the cosmic, the inﬁ nite . . .
Translator’s Note I would like to thank Veronica Lalov for her invaluable work tracking down references and express my gratitude to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul University for their support of this project. Finally, this translation owes much to the excellent suggestions provided by Michael Naas and Elizabeth Rottenberg.
Odysseus and the Day of Return “What man has put my bed in another place?” —homer, The Odyssey (XXIII, 184) The Rooted Bed The Mortal Condition The return of Odysseus is as paradoxical as the nostalgia invented by the Swiss. For when Odysseus ﬁ nally reaches the land of Ithaca, he does not recognize it, and he himself is at ﬁ rst recognized only by his dog. And when he wins back his identity, after having massacred the suitors and unfaithful attendants, when he ﬁ nds his wife again and she consents to recognize him at last, the hero stays only for a night and then leaves again.
Aeneas: From Nostalgia to Exile “Make them all Latins with one language.” —virgil, The Aeneid (VII, 837) To Carry One’s Homeland on One’s Back The Nostalgia for the Future: Rereading and Rebinding Rootedness and uprootedness: nostalgia revolves around this.