Chapter 1 Not the Iliad: Reconsidering a Gendered Approach to the Odyssey Chapter 2 Unweaving to Reweave: Poetry and Process Chapter 3 Reweaving Identities: Odysseus' Lies and the Tale of the Scar Chapter 4 Weaver and Artist: Surveying a Penelope Tradition Chapter 5 Conclusion
A Penelopean Poetics looks at the relationship between gender ideology and the self-referential poetics of the Odyssey through the figure of Penelope. She is a cunning story-teller; her repeated reweavings of Laertes' shroud a figurative replication of the process of oral poetic composition itself. Penelope's web is thus a discourse and it can be construed specifically as feminine. Her gendered poetics celebrates process, multiplicity, and ambiguity and it resists phallocentric discourse by undermining stable and fixed meanings. Penelope's poetics become a discursive thread through which different feminine voices can realize their resistant capacities. Author Barbara Clayton's work contributes to discussions in the classics as well as literary criticism, sex and gender studies, and women's studies.