A very great Iliad… concerns the creation of a nation.
Fiction has consisted either of placing imaginary characters in a true story, which is the Iliad, or of presenting the story of an individual as having a general historical value, which is the Odyssey.
It is the creator of fiction’s point of view; it is the character who interests him. Sometimes he wants to convince the reader that the story he is telling is as interesting as universal history.
The Iliad is the private lives of people thrown into disorder by history.
It seems to me that an author who has determined very new domains in literature is Gertrude Stein.
The Odyssey is the story of Americans up to the point where they are well-established, and even so it is detached from the historical side.
All societies are historical.
All confessions are Odysseys.
One can easily classify all works of fiction either as descendants of the Iliad or of the Odyssey.
There have been only rare moments in history where individual histories were able to run their course without wars or revolutions.