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February 2001, Week 2


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 09:29:48 -0600
TEXT/PLAIN (39 lines)
HR Greenberg wonders:

> Writing a brief review of OBROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Has anyone done anything
> or said anything about the analogies to SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, which seem much
> more pertinent than HOMER. Thanks HR Greenberg MD ENDIT

Some reviews I've seen have briefly mentioned ST, in relation to the
title, although I haven't yet seen anyone mention the scene in the
movie theater which seems to be the most direct connection, aside from
the Depression-era chain-gang milieu.

The Odyssey references are sprinkled throughout the film.  Not just
Goodman as Polyphemus, but Ulysses' "Penelope" is about to be married
to an unworthy suitor, Babyface Nelson pays for killing the Cattle of
the Sun, the Lotus-Eaters go to be baptized ,etc.  Haven't quite
figured out Scylla and Charybdis yet and there doesn't seem to be a
Telemachus as son, but I suspect that the radio station and owner are
meant to represent Aeolus.  Apparently, the Coens had not actually read
the Odyssey before making the film, so there's much I'm not sure of how
to take, eg. the politician named "Homer."

Of course, there are a lot of other cross-references too.  The
disruption of the Klan rally is taken from THE WIZARD OF OZ (the
attempt to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch), among other things.

Don Larsson

Donald F. Larsson
English Department, AH 230
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN  56001

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