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The Forgotten SenseMeditations on Touch$
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Pablo Maurette

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226561332

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226561509.001.0001

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Six Fingers

Six Fingers

(p.32) Six Fingers
The Forgotten Sense

Pablo Maurette

University of Chicago Press

This chapter centers exclusively on the poetry of Homer and, in particular, on the Iliad. Against what Eric Auerbach argues in his groundbreaking work "Mimesis" (that the Homeric narrative transports us to a “realm where everything is visible"), this essay dwells on the pervasive visual and spatial disorientation in the poem and stresses how Homer relies on haptic techniques to orient the reader (or the hearer) along the way. Thus, the attention is directed to specific passages that serve as examples of this tactile, or haptic, poetry, such as the struggle over Patroclus' body in Book 17, and the famous description of the Shield of Achilles, in book 18. The main claim of this essay is that the Homeric poems deal mainly with emotions and outbursts, and these emotions are the product of affective alterations within the characters that belong to the haptic apparatus.

Keywords:   Homer, Iliad, dactyls, haptic, Odyssey, affect, touch

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