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Ithaka Essay

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In the following introduction to her dissertation, Capri-Karka discusses "Ithaca" as a turning point in Cavafy's work, one where the poet began to be more open about his personal life—specifically, his homosexuality.

"Ithaca" is considered not only central for the theme of the journey but also the "brain" of Cavafy's whole work—if one can extend here the symbolism used by Stuart Gilbert for the ninth episode, of James Joyce's Ulysses. It is for this reason that Cavafy is referred to by many critics as "the poet of 'Ithaca.'" The poem works on two levels: on the most immediate, Cavafy emphasizes sensual pleasure and celebrates the journey from harbor to harbor; on the more general level, one can see the poem as a condensed expression of Cavafy's view of the world. To use Rex Warner's words for it, "what is emphasized in 'Ithaca' is the immense...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 4,211 words
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Buy the Ithaka Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Ithaka from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.