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(1952). Notes. Psychoanal Q., 21:602-602.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:602-602


DR. GÉZA RÓHEIM sends the following comment about ODYSSEUS: THE RETURN OF THE PRIMAL FATHER by Joel Friedman and Sylvia Gassel, published in this QUARTERLY, XXI, 1952, pp. 215–223.

Friedman and Gassel present Odysseus as the Father who returns to kill the visitors who represent the sons of the brother horde. The authors speak of a 'definite evolution in the collective unconscious' as represented by the sequence Oedipus, Orestes, Odysseus. Odysseus is the primal father accepted by the community with 'the promise of peace and happiness'.

Another version of the myth makes Odysseus the illegitimate son of an archrebel like Sisyphus, and the further possibility of an Odysseus-Hermes parallelism presents this hero in a different light.

In the post-Homeric tradition Telegonus, son of Odysseus and Circe, is sent by his mother to find his father. A storm drives him to Ithaca where, starting to devastate the fields, he is opposed by Odysseus and Telemachus. Odysseus is killed by his son as had been prophesied. Pallas Athene then orders Telemachus and Penelope to remain in their country; the dead Odysseus is taken back to Aeaea, the island of Circe, and buried. Pallas Athene further decrees that Telegonus marry Penelope, and Telemachus marry Circe. Sophocles too wrote a play in which Odysseus is unwittingly killed by his son. Kerényi regards Circe and Penelope as parallel mythological beings comparing both with the Moirai. Since Odysseus is the hero who, aided by the magic plant brought by Hermes, masters the goddess who transforms (castrates) his companions into animals, it is evident that we have here a parallel to the 'Medusa-Witch' episode in the tale of the Two Brothers.

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