Chris Marker’s Homer

Just before leaving Columbus in summer 2014 to spend a sabbatical year in Madrid, along with my partner, Rebeka, and our son, Eneko, I discovered that the french filmmaker Chris Marker contributed photographs to a little book on Homer,  published in 1958 by Paris-based Éditions du Seuil (where Marker worked between 1954-8), as part of the series “Écrivains de toujours”. While I ordered the book from the library, it arrived just after I left Ohio for Spain and only now – over two years later – did I remember to reorder it and it has just arrived this morning.

While Marker’s interest in antiquity is well-know (e.g. his 13-part television series L’Héritage de la chouet  (The Owl’s Legacy) made in 1989), as well as his role initiating and directing the “Petite Planète” guides, also published by Éditions du Seuil, there has been (to my knowledge) no discussion of Marker’s contributions to the Homer volume, or to any other books in the series (aside from the book he wrote in 1952 Giraudoux par lui-même).

Below are the scans of the photographs attributed to Marker (on pages 10/11, 13, 14, 27, 31, 44/45, 91, 114/115, 149, 152, 154, 182/183). I will leave it to a future post to examine these in detail, but for now I can see a general focus on the site of Mycenae and for the section on Odysseus.

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[While writing this post from my office on Ohio State University campus there is an active shooter alert, with reports of eight people injured and the shooter dead. Of course there is no connection with the content of this post, but in my new regime of writing a Minus Plato post every day, events like this need to be recorded alongside my engagement with Classics and contemporary art. On the way to campus, I was talking with Rebeka about the Ohio branch of the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) resistance to House Bill 48, known as the “guns everywhere” bill, which scheduled for hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Ohio Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Of course, it is too early to know the details of the shooting here today, but more guns on campus feels like a terrifying prospect and not an environment I want to work and teach in.]

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