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The comparison of the Memory for Forgetfulness and The Odyssey Essay

Memory for Forgetfulness is written by Mahmoud Darwish in 1995 and it explains how a person can forget things. The Odyssey is written by Homer in the year between 750 BC and 650BC and it also explains the idea of memory and forgetfulness. The Odyssey is a poem written by a very young woman who lived at the place now called Trapani. Some critics have called the Memory for Forgetfulness has the modern Palestinian odyssey. In the Memory for Forgetfulness, in the first paragraph we see that the characters are forgetful. He does not know when they meet or when they part.

You can also see the aspect of memory when the characters say that they remembered that they had forgotten one another (Mahmoud 1). In the Odyssey, The daughter of Atlas had got hold of Ulysses and kept trying to make him forget his home. In this statement you can see the aspect the forgetfulness (Homer 17). The aspect of forgetfulness is always associated with the aspect of memorization as you can see in the two books. The comparison of the Memory for Forgetfulness and The Odyssey According to Darwish, memory is clearly demonstrated where, he asks,” Tell me, when did we meet? ” He remembers having met with the other party thirteen years ago.

He has a very sharp memory, since he not only remembers having met with the alleged thirteen ears ago, but also the number of times they have met. It is clear that, while one can forget that an event ever happened through the principle of forgetfulness, one can also through ones memory, remember the forgotten events. Some of the intercultural encounters that happen in every day life are clearly demonstrated here, where Darwish’s friend tells him, ‘don’t forget to die’. It is evident that death is an intercultural encounter. By six in the morning, the neighborhood birds are awake, keeping the tradition of neutral songs.

These singing are important in that they heal the nature of a night that has passed. The singing of the birds acts to neutralize the situation. At a certain point in time, Darwish examines parts of his body and finds them all there that is the two eyes, two ears, a long nose, ten fingers above and a finger in the middle. These are what I could call his identity. According to the writer, there exist certain disorders of the universe such as roaring sounds from the sea, at three o’clock that announces daybreak and sends him out of his bed (Mahmoud 1).

The writer compares himself to nothing less than a crawling creature and not human, due to the mere fact that he is not comfortable with the place he is living, despite the fact that he has been living there for the past 10 years. He uses metaphors like coffee and the aroma of coffee, where coffee is compared to the morning silence, the only silence in which you can be at peace with self and things. He is yearning for the day he will get the aroma of coffee, “I want the aroma of coffee”. The aroma of coffee is compared to the writers desire to go to a place he can call home, where there is peace within himself and his environs.

He is tired of the shells from the sea that spread the stink of gunpowder and the taste of nothingness. Water has the color of birds’ songs according to the writer, and the fragrance of water is compared to the scent of the afternoon breeze blown from a field with wheat (Mahmoud 2). Songs have significance according to Darwish Mahmoud, where they come in to neutralize the situation. We find a case where a legend approaches the writer from the south and the language of their killing tempts them to sing, “We will not leave!

” The writer further argues that the song brings some sense of victory against war. The metaphor, ‘aroma of coffee’, is repeated many times by the writer, to emphasize on his desire to get to a place he can call home, a place he can have peace within himself and his environs. It is a return to and the bringing back of first things. Coffee is likened to a place and its aroma is what unites what cannot be united, no wander the writer yearns for it, since he can’t cope with the early morning destructions of birds singing. “Will you not forget and forgive even in death”. (Homer 242).

According to Odyssey, forgetfulness is portrayed when the daughter of the magician (Calypso) held on to the poor and unhappy Ulysses whom she tried to insipid by all means in order to help him forget about his home and focus and settle with her. But Ulysses, who has been kept hostage by the daughter of the magician, is not ready to forget his home in Ithaca despite the soft and cunning which she is using to persuade him. Nausicaa the servant who Calypso who took care of Ulysses asked him not to forget him when he got home to his wife since he is the one who had saved his life.

(Homer 169). The slaves were fed with food which was poisoned so that they could forget their homes. This food made them turn into servants who stayed in dirt places which were like the pig sties. While Ulysses was crossing the river on his way home, he tried to forget all the suffering that he had gone through while in hostage. Neptune had not forgotten the threats that he had given to Ulysses and so he took advice and said that he could not be held in any sort of respect among the gods. Ulysses had a good memory since he never forgot his family while he was in hostage (Homer 169).

According to Odyssey, songs which are metaphors were sung during happy times or occasions. This is portrayed during the return of Ulysses returned to his home where the servants had to prepare food and then disport themselves with the songs and dance during that night. They also a sign of reunion for people who had been apart for a long period of time, during the return of Ulysses, men washed and put on their shirts as women also prepared themselves for the. After the dressing was over, the Phemius took their musical instruments as they were preparing for songs and dances which were expected to be sweet.

The house was full of joy with men and women’s voices. Many of the people were sure of the reunion of Ulysses and his wife together with the family (Homer 169). There was human war that took place after the return of Ulysses. This war took place amongst the suitors who ended up cutting one person’s ears. Since they were fighting that they take away the couple. But Telemachus concluded that his parents were going nowhere. Before the return of Ulysses, Telemachus who wanted to take over Ulysses’ wife never got to marry her despite their convincing powers.

The return of Ulysses who had traveled far away from his home to be in hostage, was like an eagles flying away from the mountain where it had been bred and was now going back to its nest which was his wife, son and the rest of his family. Ulysses had gone through a lot of suffering but he endured (Homer 169). Conclusion Conclusively, there are many metaphors used in Darwish’s theory such as songs of birds in the morning, which come in to neutralize the silence of night that has passed.

We also find the writer singing a song of victory against an approaching legend of war, to announce courage and neutrality in the events that are happening. Coffee is likened to a peaceful place and its aroma is an asset that unites what cannot be united. By this I mean that its value never depreciates, and this is why the writer yearns for it to the very end. The memory of forgetfulness is a fact and is clearly portrayed where the writer momentarily remembers having met with the other party thirteen years back, after wondering whether they ever met.

According to Odyssey, the aspect of forgetfulness is always associated with the aspect of memorization. Songs are a sign of reunion and a mark of celebrations. The sign of the eagle coming from the mountain to the homestead of the goddess is likened to the return of Ulysses home from hostage. Work cited Mahmoud, Darwish. “Memory for Forgetfulness: August, Beirut, 1982. ” Berkeley, California: University of California Press (1995). Accessed 20th October 2008 <http://ark. cdlib. org/ark:/13030/ft1z09n7g7/> Homer. “The Odyssey. ” (750 BC). Accessed 20th October 2000 < http://www. planetpdf. com/>


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