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Wilson’s predecessors translated a descriptor of the young women as a misogynistic slur: “sluts,” “whores,” and “creatures,” to name a few.Some would argue that they were simply reproducing the sexism of Homer’s era, but according to Wilson, the ancient Greek word has no such dehumanizing connotation.
When evaluating her translation, it may not be important that Wilson is a woman, but it is important that she attacks the poem from a critical, politically-engaged lens.(256)Here, we see Anticleia as a monster for two main reasons: (1) she is neither human nor totally dead and (2) she is familiar yet unfamiliar.Anticlea’s ghost has a mind capable of thinking, speaking, feeling emotions, recalling memories. For as Odysseus elucidates above, her being is not composed of tangible matter.This idea of the “abject” or “uncanny” becomes especially clear with Odysseus’ encounter with three monsters: the shades of Anticleia, Agamemnon, and Achilles.After hearing from Tiresias, Odysseus first interacts with the ghost of his mother, Anticlea.She is a firm believer that the word "summer" should never be used as a verb, that epic poetry should stage a comeback, and that the perfect date is April 25th, because you only need a light jacket. Right from the point Odysseus enters the land of the Cimmerian people, “shrouded in mist and cloud,” he enters a territory of obscurity (250).The phrase places him squarely in the modern tradition of white men anti-heroes like Holden Caulfield or Walter White—men who could be characterized as hypocritical, entitled, or manipulative as much as complex.The less reverent “complicated” carries the burden of all of these ideas, and it carries it well.Rather, it simply refers to “female ones.” There was certainly misogyny in Homer’s time, but this specific type of sexual shaming is an “imported” type of sexism.So instead, Wilson translates this word as “girls,” which both maintains the more neutral tone of the original Greek word and, in context, makes the girls’ deaths feel brutally harrowing: Crucially, Wilson doesn’t insert this horror into the text, but simply illuminates the horror that is already there.