Penelope’s Weave

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“In the absence of Odysseus Penelope’s fate becomes unstable. Her weaving and unweaving . . . is emblematic of this instability (and is) invested with its full metaphorical potential: (she) rules over the destiny of Ithaca by ‘analysing’ her web each night (alluesken histon). Thus the history of our own word for unraveling complexity—analysis starts here, in the nocturnal textile activity (borne of) Penelope’s outstanding intelligence.” — Ioanna Papadopoulou
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Penelope's weaving
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though not obsessed with questions bearing upon Penelope’s weave I remain curious about the particular what-ifs and thens she secreted in warp and weft of her loom

 
unknown answers missed by classical exegetes who might have shed more light on her life with men if they’d simply found a loom and woven, eventually grasping in a painstorm the actual patterns she made by day, then by night denied

what might we have learned of the feel of love and duty lost in the crisscrossed threads of tapestry born of the sagacity of a woman in a brutal world of men

if exegetes themselves had, for a fifth of a century, woven and unwoven while tossed on seas of testosterone they may have further understood the method of her necessary, brilliant ruse of weave and disweave:

by day her world was woven,.by night undone, as we by turns wake then sleep,
believe then disbelieve, live, then as far as can be proven, unbecome 

Jim Culleny
10/29/18

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