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The (Re)Marriage of Penelope and Odysseus Architecture Gender Philosophy Author(s): Ann Bergren Source: Assemblage, No. 21 (Aug.

, 1993), pp. 6-23 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3171212 Accessed: 21/01/2010 16:54
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Penelope Gender and


(Re)Marriage of



at the AnnBergren teachesClassics LosAngeles, of California, University at the Southern andarchitectural theory of Architecture. Institute California

A HomericDialogue
of Penelope and Odysseus,the Odyssey In the (re)marriage initiates a dialoguewith the Western traditionsof architecture, gender,and philosophy.'Although defined conceptually as distinct from mythology,these by discourses"invented" three modes function activelyin archaicGreekcultureand beforeVitruvius,gender thought.2As there was architecture and philosophybefore Plato, so before Freudor Levi-Strauss, formsof architecture, in Homer'swork"paratheoretical" gender, and philosophymirrorone another,creatingwhat might architectural be called an "Odyssean theory."This theoryposof Penelope and its an ideal architecturein the (re)marriage Odysseuseven as it revealsits instability.Although unknown as such to Western architectural theory (foundedas that theoryis on the philosophythat excludes itself from myth), ideal continues the desireto build the Odysseanarchitectural to drivemodern constructionsof architecture,gender,and philosophy.3 In the Odyssey,architectureis the fabricationof material of natureinto a material,mortal meaning, the transformation sema- both sign and tomb. The tree supportingOdysseus's bed is dead in the ground and Penelope weavesa shroud. Gender is a politicalinstance of such architecture,insofaras it constructsthe social significations- the powerand the powerlessness- of sexual differenceand of differenceas sexual. Odysseangendermakesdifferencea column with roots of stone. Its agent is philosophy,the knowingmind (nous) that constructsand recognizesthe semataof truth as unique iden7

1. Attic skyphos by the Penelope painter, ca. 435 B.C., showing a "mourning"Penelope before the loom with a handsome youth, customarilyidentified as her son Telemachus.Couldhe rather be Odysseusas beautified by Athena with a similarly beautified and anachronistically youthful Penelope before the test of the (re)marriagebed?
21 ? 1993by AnnBergren Assemblage







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tity.4Each of these modes operatesby means of metis,the intelligence"common workingand workof "transformative In a continuous relayof reciprocal to everytechne.5 production, each can imitate the shape of the other (or make the other imitate its shape) to win at the other'sgame. But as Zeus swallowsthe goddess Metis so that she "willdevise evil and good in his interestalone,"so Odysseanarchitectural theoryconfines this capacityin an ultimatelyuncertain "housearrest." What do Penelopeand Odysseushaveto do with architecture? In the Western tradition,they are among its foundingfigures. By virtueof their metis,Odysseusand Penelopebecome each mind and hand. a myth of architectural Metis embracesboth mental and manualprowess,both language and material.Metis worksby continual shape-shifting, of defeat into victory'stool.6Its methods turningthe morphe scheme include the trickor trap (dolos),the profit-gaining and the abilityto seize the opportunity(kairos). (kerdos), Each of these exploits the essentialform of metis,the "turning" (tropos)that binds opposites,manifest in the reversal in weaving,twisting,and knotting,and in and the circle,7 everyjoint. The mistressor masterof metis knowshow to between what is bound manipulate"the circularreciprocity metisis derivedfrom a and what is binding."8 Etymologically, with its implicationof verbalroot meaning "to measure," A traditionalconnection calculationand exact knowledge.9 between metisand the builder'sskillsis seen in the figureof Athena, daughterof the goddess Metis, who teaches the men" making (poiesai)of elaboratewarchariotsto "builder andras)and weavingto maidens (parthenikas),'? (tektonas and in the mythologicalarchitectTrophonius.11 The Greekmyth of metisdramatizesthe mutual construction of architecture, gender,and philosophyunderthe sign of Fashionedby Greekmen and ex"father-ruled" marriage. the myth casts metis as an undytheir of view, point pressing must be that female (re)appropriated through power ing by the politicaland philosophicalpowerof the male. marriage Afterher husband,the king Cronus,swallowsher previous childrento preventthem from usurpinghis sovereignty, Rhea plots to protecther last-born,Zeus. To Cronus, she Formallyimitatpresentsnot the babyhimself, but a metis.12

2. Melianterra-cotta relief of a
"mourning" Penelope listening to Odysseus as an old man


child, she gives him a ing his desirefor another"swallowed" clothes.13 stone wrappedin swaddling(that is, "swallowing") the trick."Zeus can then growup to Cronus "swallows avengehimself by forcinghis fatherto vomit the stone, which he then "fasteneddown into the earth ... to be a sign [sema] and marvel [thauma]to mortals."Now a politicalmonument, the stone signifiesZeus's regime as the containment ot metis, immobilized (like the petrifiedpost of Odysseus'sbed) in the To maintainthis external,politicalfixation,Zeus ground.14 of matches it with an internal,domestic "in-corporation" of the godmetis in his marriage and ultimate "swallowing" dess Metis herself.15 In earlyGreekculture,metis is not only a concept but also the goddesswhom Zeus takes as his firstwife. The marriage of Zeus and Metis is an "architectural contest"with her emIn the myth, the ultimate winneris bodiment as the prize.16 never in doubt. In their struggleover entranceinto her body, although Metis "turnedinto many formsto avoidbeing joined with him," Zeus "mixes"with her in sexual intercourse (his instrument,it would appear,is the same ananke that will compel the women in the Odyssey).17Next they compete in body making,matching their respectivecapacities for materialand verbaltransformation. Metis becomes pregnantand a prophecyrevealsthat she will beara child who will usurphis father'srule.To bind the goddesswithin himself and therebyreversethe powerof the pregnancy,Zeus "seducesher wits by a trickof wilywords"and swallowsher, "so that the goddess will devise evil and good in his interest alone"and he can give birth to the child himself from his own head. The proof of his victoryis the goddessAthena, mistressof metis as swallowedby Zeus, who presidesover the of Penelope and Odysseus. (re)marriage In the (re)marriage of Penelope and Odysseus,the Odyssey and extells a myth of architectural originsthat prefigures architects who build ceeds Vitruvius's shelters by aboriginal At a imitating the weavingand daubingof swallows'nests.18 schematiclevel, the weavingof Penelope and the (re)marriagebed of Odysseusare emblems of the two basic elements of building:verticalspace enclosureand columns supporting a horizontalload.19 Their collaboration constructsan ideal of in and architecture,gender, philosophy and as immovable The while mutupartnersin this collaboration, (re)marriage.

in allydependent, arenot equal. Penelope is the "partner charge"of the (re)union.It is by virtueof her metis- her kerdos of secret,false speech, her dolosof weaving,and her trickto test for their secretsemata- that Odysseus'smetisof the bed can function as architectof his identity and hers. But a system of social rePenelope'sdesign servesa "program," quirementsand the powerto enforcethem, that she did not the programof Odyssean"fatherwrite. Itself an architecture, rule"attempts continuallyto reconstructits model of the female genderthroughthe philosophicforce of the Odyssey itself. The Odysseydividesthe ambiguity(it posits as) essential to the female into an almost complete dichotomyof praiseand blame. It eulogizes the mind of the blamelesswife, the best "Pandora" you can get.

In Praiseof the Mind of Penelope

Odyssey24.191-202 0 blessed child of Laertes,Odysseusof many devices, surelyyou possessed a wife with great excellence [megaleiaretei]. How good were the wits in blameless Penelope, daughterof Icarius.How well she rememberedOdysseus,her wedded husband.Thereforehis/her [hoi] famein forher/his[hes]excellence[aretei] epic [kleos] will never perish,and the immortalswill fashion for those upon the earth a song full of gracefor Penelope who possesses mind, not as the daughterof Tyndareus [Clytemnestra]devised [mesato]evil works, when she murderedher wedded husband,

anda hatefulsongforever willexistamong bestowa harsh word men,andwillforever uponfemalewomen,evenif thereis one
who does good.

Penelope is blamelessbecause her wits are good. The text capturesthe virtueof her mind's devices in its own ambiguous expressionof Penelope'sexcellence, her arete,a quality attributedto no other female in Homericepic: "therefore his/her (hoi) fame in epic (kleos)for her/his (hes) excellence (arete)will neverperish."Becausethey are grammatically ambiguous,whetherthese pronounsreferto Odysseusor

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3. Tondo scene of red figure cup by the Brygospainter, Tarquinia,

ca. 480-70 B.C. To murder her

husband, Clytemnestrauses the axe, an architecturally ambiguous object, needed to build as well as to destroy the house.

4. ToshodaijiTemple, Nara,759. Woven beams support the projecting roof.

Penelope cannot be certainlydecided. For it is preciselythe areteof Penelope'smind - an exemplarymetis in its tricky of active and passivestances- to win kleosfor circularity herselfby designing (re)marriage to the one in whom she locates all her areteand her "greater and more beautiful epic fame."20 It is Penelope'smetisto make her excellence and praiseultimatelytake the shape of her husband's,the shape of her husbandas "her-self." She uses the mobilitybuilt into her genderto locate herselfin and as his stableoikos,his unmoving,immovableplace and space. As foil for its praiseof Penelope,the Odyssey blames Clytemnestrafor using her metis (mesato)to "dys-locate" the place of her husband.But in its driveto divide female metis into exclusivepraiseand blame, the text itself "dys-locates" the division.For it claims that the blame of Clytemnestra

"willforeverbestow a harshwordupon female women, even if there is one who does good"- even, that is, on Penelope herself. With this censureof Clytemnestra,the Odysseyconfesses the vulnerability of its architectural ideal to an independent female practicewhose tropomorphic metis is foreverreconstructedby the driveto contain it.

The Metis of the Web andtheAmbiguity Place" Praise, Blame, of a "Woman's

Odyssey2.85-88 Telemachus, unrestrainedin High-speaking

might,whatsortof thinghaveyousaidto shameus!Youwouldliketo fastenblame.

But the suitorsare not the cause or worthyof



but yourmother, who yourblame[aitioi], knows beyondallothers profit-gaining schemes[kerdea]. It has been twenty yearssince Odysseusleft for the warin Troy,and no wordhas come whetherhe is dead or alive. Meanwhile,his household has been overrunwith suitorsfor Penelope'shand. Casting the situation in the terms of praise and blame, the suitorAntinous defends himself to the son of Penelope and Odysseus,Telemachus:Penelope has superior schemes" (kerdea); she can knowledgeof "profit-gaining make the other personlook blameworthy, when actuallyshe is the "cause"(aition) and thus deservesthe blame. The chargeintroducesthe ambiguityof her situation. Architecturally, Penelope'splace as an aition, locus of blame and origin,is co-occupiedby opposite but interdependent forces.For she does not change her position either in action, by returningto her father,or in word,by choosing one of the suitorsor refusingto do so. In the terms of philosophical as change of place) and not-A logic, A (forcetowardmarriage (forceagainstmarriageas change of place) occupy the same place at the same time. Here, as in buildings,the opposition of interdependentforcesproducesstability,but one that would arrestthe Odysseansocial system. In receiving,but deflecting the suitors'petitions, Penelope would bring to a standstillthe change of place that founds society. While she collects suitors,but does not move, Penelope "gainsthe profit"of praisein the medium of kleos. Even Antinous'scensure- by the "circular of reciprocity" and blame functions as here indirect But praise praise.21 if never were to what would then? She be forced move, Penelope to.22 For the worldof the Odysseysharesthe system of fatherin which men must exchange rule chartedby Levi-Strauss women in orderto communicate with one anotherin networksof legitimate kinshipand symbolicthought.23 Men must move women from one oikosto anotherin orderto weave their social structure.A woman is moved from the oikosof her fatherand the status of an "Artemis" to the oikos of her husbandand the sexuallife of an "Aphrodite." From there she can be moved back to the father'shouse, if her husbanddies, to be exchangedagainby her father.Or, as in the case of Helen, she can be abducted from her husband's house by his rival.Such is the paradoxical architectureof

and of the female placement in it, a location built marriage on the necessityof dislocation. But for now, Penelope maintainsher position unmoved. By imitating the desiresof her suitorsin the twin strategiesof secret, false messagesand the treacherous(un)weavingof a shroudfor Laertes,her husband'sfather,she turnsher adversariesinto co-constructors of her ambiguousplace.

The Kerdosof Secret,FalseSpeech

2.89-92 Odyssey Forit is nowthe thirdyear, andquickly will be the fourth, thatshehascheated the heart in the breasts of the Achaeans. To allshe eachman,sending giveshope,shepromises forthmessages Buthermind [angelias]. otherthings. [noos] designs Here is one of the kerdea that Penelope knowsbeyond all others. She knowshow to effect the emotions of others without moving herself.She is an "unmovedmover."This is her "gain." The mechanismof her unmoved movement is secret, false speech:secretspeech,a message to each man individufalse speech,a ally,breakingup the many into several"one"s; false exterior,for her interiormind designs other things. This speech is not simplysemiotic. It reflectsand requiresthe elements, scale- she analyzes operationof two architectural a compound problem (the many suitors)into its constituent module (the individualsuitor) and designs a solution at this
level and space she constructs a division between out-

side and inside.This "profit-gaining scheme"of unmoved movement is an architectureof signs.24 With their capacityto move bodies and minds, Penelope's secretmessagesillustratethe mistakein opposingspeech to of the matter, an exclusionbelied by writing,the "scandal Likewalls,signs divide and enclose. Their talkingbody."25 manipulationof scale and space is itself reproducedspatially in the "written" orderof line 91, "to all she gives hope, she promiseseach man,"in which "giveshope" and "promises" divide "all"at line beginning into "eachman"at line end. If they followedregularHomericpractice,however,Penelope's messages (angeliai)would not be conventionalwrit11

assemblage 21

ings, but rather,oralcommunicationsdeliveredby someone else.26 For secret,false speech, such intangiblemessages would seem best. An "angelic" would allow surrogate Penelope the virtueof writing,the capacityto speakalthough absent.And as "wingedwords," the messageswould leave no materialtraceof themselves.They would seem to escape writing'svice of indiscriminate repetition.But that Antinous can now recount Penelope'skerdos shows either that the someone (or else) eventuallyrevealedthe message messenger to all the suitors,27 telling the many what was meant for just on one, or that the suitorstold one another.Once "written" the mind, the messagecan be repeated.Intangibletracesare no guaranteeagainstiterability.Subdivisionby architectural semiosis entails its own instability. worksonly so long as the suitorsdo not Penelope'skerdos speakthe secret, false signs to one another.This collective silence depends on moving each individualsuitorto adopt an image of himself that matches the structureof the kerdos. This is the metis of the kerdos. Each suitormust construe himself as a module dividedbetween inside knowledge(what he knowsfrom Penelope'smessageto him) and outside speech (whathe saysto the others). Penelope'smetis of "unmoved movement"playson the prideof each man, on the desireof each for unique identity as the only "chosenone"and on the forceof this desireto displaceand deferhis even conceivingthe possibilityof anothertreatedlike himself. Her architecture"makesa profit"as long as it is supportedby the client's philosophicaldesire.

womenin the community blameme, if he lieswithouta sheetto windhim,he who much.'So she spoke, andthe acquired heartin us waspersuaded. proud dolos persuasive and how doesit makeher Whyis Penelope's worthwaitingfor? In displayingdevotion to Odysseus'saged father,Penelope showseach suitorhow she would act as his wife. She would not let either him or his fatherdie without a shroudwoven by the woman of his oikos.28 This serviceto the father,enforced by the blame of other women, defersthe suitors'sexualand social driveby tappingtheir fearof an ignominiousdeath. In the Homericworld,death is a "commondoom,"erasing individualdistinction.As a victorstripshis victim'sarmor,so death as Plutus ("richman")leaves only a barecorpse,demuch."If the body is that spoilingeven him who "acquired of an old man like Laertes,it is ugly and shameful.29 Funeral rites coverthe loss. Providedas a geras,a gift of honor in compensationfor death, burialand tombstone keep the corpsefrombecoming a forgotten"feastfor dogs and birds."30 Insidethis outermostshield of the dead is another- ammore ambitious,materiallydisbiguous and architecturally tinct yet molded to the body. Giving shapeby screening,the shroudis the materialsurfaceof death itself. Men depend on women for this covering.For in the Greek worldonly women weave shrouds.Penelope'sdolos-speech persuadesthe suitorsby promisingto deploy this definitive markof the female genderon behalf of the male overagainst his mortality. Whydo onlywomenweaveshrouds? In Greekthought, weavingis a markof genderand race. Herodotus'sHistoriespresentsthe men of Egyptas "virtual females"who "reverse the customs and laws of men" by weavingin the oikos,while their women tradein the agora.31 The aetiologicalmyth of the female explainswhy weavingis her native art. Weaving enters the human worldwith the woman and her metis,each as the aition of the other. It is Athena who teaches weavingto Pandora,the firstwoman and model of all females, includingthe goddesses (likeAthena and Metis)

The Dolos of the Shroud

2.93-103 Odyssey Andthisis another trick[dolos] shedevised in hermind.Sheset up a great loomin the hallsandwasweaving a webbothdelicate andsymmetrical. Andthenshe saidto us: sinceshining men,mysuitors, 'Young hasdied,wait,although Odysseus pressing formymarriage, untilI complete this be wasted lest myspinning andin mantle, forthe heroLaertes, for vain,a shroud whenever the commondoomof destructive himdown,lest of the Achaean deathbrings



who precededher.32 Weaving and metis, too, are mutually As Metis teaches weaving,so one is said to originating. In the logic of aetiologicalmyth, such "weavea metis."33 originsrepresent chronologicalcontradictionsand reciprocal constructions. the workingof a system of jointlyreinforcing each is a trickycovering,an Weaving, metis, and Pandora: attractiveoutside that belies what is inside. Pandorais a work of plasticart, the ceramiclikenessof a modest maiden, molded by Hephaestus,the artisanal god. Her modesty is a She like Penelope'sweb, an external verisimilitude. is, jar, a dolosagainstwhich men have no mechane,and, like the kerdos of secret falsehoods,a partitionof outside from inside. For as Athena teaches her weaving,Aphroditeand Hermes constitute Pandoraas a treacherousdivisionbetween external, sexual power- "graceful beauty"that causes "painful - and internal, sorrows" and "limb-devouring yearning" of a mental power- the "mindof a bitch,"the "character and that tool of metiswieldedby Zeus thief,""falsehoods," againstthe goddess Metis, "wilywords."Pandorais an ornamental screen.Her entire skin is coveredby the "ordered adornment"(kosmos)that Athena as goddess of crafthas "fastenedtogether upon"it. In weaving,Pandoramakeswhat she is, a coveringof her (metis)inside.34 form of But why women alone are assignedthe particular metis that is weavingthe myth of Pandoradoes not directly state. Its silence is understandable For, psychoanalytically. lackingthe inhibitionsof Hesiodic theology,but ultimately derivativeof its formulationof the female, it is a Freudian text that locates the reasonthis traditionsees weavingas - andin an areaof maximummaleanxiety: women'sinvention Freud, "Femininity" The effectof penis-envy hasa share, further, in the physical of women,sincethey vanity areboundto valuetheircharms morehighly as a latecompensation fortheiroriginal sexual whichis Shame, inferiority. considered to be a feminine characteristic but is farmorea matter of parexcellence convention thanmightbe supposed, has as its purpose, webelieve, concealment
of genital deficiency.We are [Verdecken]

to the womenhavemadefewcontributions discoveries andinventions [Entdeckungen] in the history thereis, of civilization; whichtheymay one technique however, - thatof plaiting and haveinvented If thatis so,we should be tempted weaving. to guessthe unconscious motiveforthe wouldseem achievement. Nature herself to havegiventhe modelwhichthis the growth achievement imitates by causing at maturity of the pubichairthatconceals the genitals. Thestepthatremained to be thethreads adhere to one taken layin making whileon the bodytheystickinto another, If you the skinandareonlymattedtogether. thisideaas fantastic andregard reject my beliefin the influence of a lackof a penison the configuration of femininity as an idee defenceless.35 fixe,I am of course Women invented weavingto conceal their genitals,the locus of their lack and envy of the male's (pro)creative capacity and the place - indeed, the aition - of the castration,the "female"condition he fearsfor himself. From the Greek for all perspective,the coveringof this place is praiseworthy, are ta aidoia shameful "the parts." Veilingthem, like genitals a shame that "feminine (aid6s), wrapping corpse,displays characteristic excellence." par sexual inferiorAlthough overtlybased on women's "original Freud's of the Greek ity," patternof aetiology weavingrepeats the male's creative as female. For capacity originally casting its of their lack and Freud's text envy, against assumption attributesto women an originary metis,wherebythey invent "the step that remainedto be taken ... makingthe threads adhereto one another."This amounts to claimingthat women use their inventivenessto covertheir (lackof) genitals understoodas their (lackof) inventiveness.And it is this very invention,weaving,that Greekmen emulate in modes of creativityfromwhich women in Greece arebarredand thus the origimight be thought to envy. For as Zeus appropriates nal Metis, so Greekmen call their poetry,prophecy,and in himselfa "weaving."36 But Plato,eventhe artof the statesman withweavingas figurativespeech, and with poetry,prophecy, and politicalphilosophyas figurative web, each is the

not forgetting thatat a latertime,shame takeson otherfunctions. It seemsthat


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It is "nonoriginal origin"and the "literalfigure"of the other.37 to overrulesuch reciprocal formationthat Zeus fixes his metis stone in the ground,the semaof the philosophicaland political powerto erect and enforcethe hierarchy of figurativeover literal- "figurative" formen and"literal" for weaving weaving women. The same arrestedrelayof emulativemetis underlies Odysseanarchitectural theory.For in the female invention of the threads adhere to one another"is also the begin"making of architecture. The Vitruvian archining myth of aboriginal tects "imitating" the weavingand daubingof birds'nests continues a traditionthat reachesto the etymologyof telchos/ toichos,"wall," derivedfrom a root with cognates in several Indo-European languagesmeaning "to mold a wallof mud."38 It connects as well to the woven constructionsthat Gottfried Semperadducesas the originof verticaldivisionbetween innerand outer space: "TheTextileArt" Semper, ... thebeginning coincides with of building thebeginning of textiles. The wallis thatarchitectural elementthat andmakes visible the formally represents enclosed as such,absolutely, as it were, space withoutreference to secondary concepts. We mightrecognize the pen,bound fromsticksandbranches, andthe together interwoven vertical fenceasthe earliest enclosure thatmaninvented.... spatial Whether theseinventions gradually in thisorder oranother matters developed littleto us here,forit remains certain that the use of the crude thatstarted weaving withthe pen- as a meansto makethe the inner fromthe 'home,' lifeseparated outer creation of the life,andasthe formal ideaof space- undoubtedly the preceded eventhemostprimitive oneconstructed wall, out of stoneoranyothermaterial. The structure thatserved to support, to to carry thisspatial enclosure wasa secure, thathadnothing to do requirement directly withspace andthe division of space....

Inthisconnection, it is of the greatest to notethatwherever these importance motives arenot present, woven secondary fabrics almosteverywhere andespecially in the southern andwarm countries out carry theirancient, function as conspioriginal cuousspatial evenwhere solidwalls dividers; becomenecessary theyremain onlythe innerandunseenstructure forthe trueand of the spatial idea: legitimate representatives the moreorlessartificially woven namely, andseamed-together, textilewalls.... In allGermanic the word Wand languages (of the samerootandsamebasicmeaning as Gewand) recalls the oldorigin directly andtypeof the visible enclosure. spatial Zaun Likewise, Decke, Schranke, Bekleidung, to Saum), andmanyothertechnical (similar arenot somewhat latelinguistic expressions to the building but trade, symbols applied reliable indications of the textileorigin of thesebuilding parts.39 In markingweavingas exclusivelyfemale, earlyGreek thought attributesto women the foundingof architectural art. But the Odysseansystem of praiseand blame confines women's architectural powerto weavingits walls.A praiseweavesto cover (herselfas) shame - and worthy"Pandora" blames women who do not. Whydo womenenforcethis confinement of theirweaving? A "woman's place"in the Odysseyis subjectto male force the necessity (anagke)that ultimatelycompels Penelope to finish the shroud.In this position, women have neither securitynor prestigeunless they weavethe protectionof the father-rule. It is the metis of the Odysseanarchitectureof gender- metisas "swallowed" by the anagkeof Zeus's regime- to elicit fromwomen its double. Women restrict their architecturein returnfor protectionand praise. because it promPenelope'sdolosof the shroudis persuasive ises conformationwith this ideal of female architecture.It is treacherous(an exemplarymetis) because it both fulfillsand - indeed,it fulfills - its promise. contravenes by contravening



6. Wattle and daub hut in Greece

5. Tai-anTea Room, Myoki-an Temple, 1582. A wall of earth is applied to a lath of bamboo, which is left exposed to form a latticed window.

7. Interiordome of wattle and daub hut


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How doesPenelopemaintainby resistingand resistby mainideal? taining the Odysseanarchitectural For as long as it operates,Penelope'sdolosmaintainsthe ambiguityof her position as aition, a movement without (re)location,towardthe oikosof her husband'srivalsas she weavesby day, towardthe oikosof her husbandas she unweavesby night. This is not a static standoff,for equal of praise.This scheme spendingand savingadd up to a kerdos in of rotatingreversal is, fact, Penelope'ssolution to the probof Odysseanarchitecture, lem posed by the program gender, feand philosophy: how do you constructa praise-winning male place, when uncertainwhetheryourhusbandis alive or dead?If alive,keep his place alive (unweavehis father's shroudby night); if dead, make a new place for yourself (weavehis father'sshroudby day). Therebymake yourplace simultaneouslythat of both men and no man. Her strategy tropesthe riddleof her situationwith another:when are the most blameworthyfemale actions- refusingmarriage a husband'srival- the most praiseexchangeor marrying When they are done at the same time, just as worthy? Penelope is said to enter the room "liketo Artemisor golden Hers is a metis of doing both while doing neiAphrodite."40 that binds the suitorsand the ther, a "circular reciprocity" system they represent. But it binds Penelope,too. Time does not stand still. With Resistingthe repetition,ambiguitybecomes architectural. she is allows and even courts of whose place question weaving its occupationby the suitors.Their prolongedpresenceattractsthe allegianceof women trainedto exercisetheir metis on behalf of the men who occupy their oikos.Penelope's in the dislocatingarchitectureprovokesits "dys-location" servant woman who her. of the betrays figure A treacherous double of Penelope'smovement without changingplace, the servantwoman,like Clytemnestra, changesher place without movement. And like the ambiguity of Penelope'sposition, the servant'sunmoved self-movement exploits the female role in marriage exchange.Althoughthey are the passivesemataof this system, exchangedso men can obspeakwith each other, women are also, as Levi-Strauss serves,active signesparlanteswho can speakfor themselves.41 Women are thus like "linguisticshifters"(the pronounsI and

you, for example) whose meaning changes accordingto their of usage. But a woman can also - as in the case of "place" Clytemnestrawith Aegisthusor that of Odysseus'sdisloyal with the suitors- use her place or herselfas maidservants place by designatingits owner. of secret speech worksonly so long as As Penelope'skerdos the many suitorsare silent, so the dolosof her shroudsucceeds only so long as the many women in the oikosspeakwith a single voice. Such is the vulnerability of her "vertical space enclosures" to the perforation of speech. Now, with the breakingof the women's univocality,comes the completion of her weavingby anagkeand the orderto returnto her father - and the arrival in the oikos.42 of a stranger Henceforth is devoted to the architectural philosophy Penelope'sme^tis of his identification.

Bed The Metis of the (Re)Marriage TheTestforArchitectural Signs

bed begins with Penelope The metisof the (re)marriage sleepingon it while Odysseusslaughtersthe suitors,sleeping more sweetlythan she has ever since Odysseusleft for Troy, so sweetlythat she beratesthe nurse Eurycleiafor awakening her with the news of Odysseus'sreturn.43 Penelope refusesto believe the nurse.Eurycleiarepliesthat Odysseushas returned "really." Overjoyed,Penelope asksto hear "unerringly" if he "really" has returned,how he "althoughbeing only one," account, slaughteredthe many.Afterlistening to Eurycleia's and initiates a test for the she denies that it is a "truestory" realidentity of the "stranger."44 Earlierin the day Penelope set up a contest to see who could stringOdysseus'sbow and hit a targetthrougha rowof twelve axes, promisingto marrywhomeversucceeded.The winner had to be at least a good copy, someone like (eikelos)or equal to (homoios)Odysseus- not false pretendersto his place like the originalman.45 the suitors,but also not necessarily Now, in orderto determineOdysseus'sunique identity, she designs or "test,"that is at to the boundary" a peira,a "penetration once a workof architectural philosophyand of philosophic architecture.46 Penelope'speirawill define Odysseusby penetratingthe space up to the boundaries(peirata)that enclose



an individual,an inside distinct from all that is outside. of Odysseusare architectural These "boundaries" signs:the semaof the scarengravedon his body and the semataof the bed he built. Qualifiedby Penelope as semata"whichwe two only knowhidden from others,"the signs of the bed circumscribean interiorlocation, an exclusivemental place occuof secret,but no longer pied by them alone, anotherkerdos In defininghimself, Odysseus'sarchifalse signification.47 bed defines Penelope in and as tecture of the (re)marriage of metis, the same place.And by the circularreciprocity Penelope'speiraof Odysseuswill proveher own identity as is simplyshe who moves (herselfas) the well. "Penelope" targetso that it becomes something immovableand Formal
again, an "unmoved mover" something only Odysseus

one, she leaves the bedchamberand goes down to see "these men, suitors,dead, and him who slew them."52

The Semataof the Bed

The ultimate conversationof Penelope and Odysseusbegins with the woman'suncertainty.She debates whetherto question or to kiss him. The two sit apart,beside the architectural form associatedwith each: she by the wall,reminiscentof her weaving,and he beside the column, lookingdown and waiting. "Atone time she looks him in the face and at another, she does not recognizehim, wearingfoul cloths on his skin."53 When her son berateshis mother for holding back,she avers:
Odyssey23.107-9 If reallyhe is Odysseusand has come home,

in his "Formal" uniquenesscan hit.

The Sema of the Scar

In keepingwith the properprocedurein earlyGreektradition of testing the identity of a "stranger," Penelope claims first This alternativepossibilityelicits from that he is a god.48 of OdysEurycleiathe "veryclearsign" (semaariphrades) him the as bathed seus's scar,one she had recognized she Her moment of recognitionoccasionsthe previousnight.49 text's own extended reconstructionof the mark:It is the sign of a wound Odysseusreceivedfrom a boar'stusk while with the sons of his mother'sfather, hunting on Parnassus Autolycus.Autolycusgave Odysseushis name as an infant and promisedto give him many possessionsas an adult. It was to collect this patrimonythat Odysseuscame to Parnassusand duringthe hunt that he receivedthis initiatory sign of naming and manhood.50 The semain Homericpracticeis most often a three-dimenand knowlsional object entailingrecognition,interpretation, it is the gravemarker.51 Embedded in the edge; in particular, body, a scaris a sort of gravemarkerin relief,a traceof mortality in the living organism.It marksidentity as born at the writingon the body of the body'sdeath. It is the sign of name as incision. Afterlistening to Eurycleia's descriptionof her discoveryof the scar,a sign Penelope will have recognizedas well as any-

shallknoweach indeedwe twoespecially otherevenbetter.Forwe havesigns whichwe twoonlyknowhidden [semata] fromothers. Apparentlyrecognizingin these wordsan ainos, an elicitation to test his knowledgeof the secret signs, Odysseussmiles and bids his son, "allowyourmother to test me [peirazein emethen].And quicklyshe will point things out to herself better."54 With this invitationto his wife, Odysseussets the scene for a of the two. He directsthe men and women to (re)marriage dresshandsomelyand the bardto sing the "weddingsong" (expected afterthe contest of the bow to decide the bridegroom) so as to put off any rumorof the suitors'slaughter. Alleginghis raggedclothes as the reasonhis wife denies him, the bridegroomhimself is bathed and beautified.Now "like [homoios]to the immortalsin build,"he sits down again "oppositehis wife."55 AccusingPenelope of a heartmore stubbornthan any woman'sand answeringher test of their privatesematawith an ainos of his own, Odysseusbids the nursepreparehis bed. His counter-ainoselicits from Penelope the final move of her peira.By wayof "testingher husband,"she ordersEurycleiato "makeup a firmbed for him outsideof the well-stabilized bedchamberhe made himself. Put his firmbed out there."56


assemblage 21

Odysseusrespondswith the self-identifyingsign of the bed he built so long ago. He firststressesthe unique resistanceof the bed to the instability of both the oikosand female, lateraldisplacement.He demandsto knowwho put his bed "inanotherplace."Not a god himself could easilyput it "inanotherplace";no mortal could "moveit to the other side""sincea greatsign [mega sema] has been built into the skillfully wroughtbed."Metonymic of such fixity,Odysseusemphasizeshis unique architecturalauthorship,"Imyselfwroughtit with toil and no one else."57 Finally,he declaresthe details of his building,firstof the bedchamberand its entranceand then of the bed inside:

8. Shokintei, Katsura Imperial Villa, ca. 1636. The center posts are made of unfinished tree trunks.

A long-leafed trunk of an olivetreegrew insidethe enclosure, to the blooming waslikethatof a Itsthickness topmost. column.Surrounding this,I builtthe untilI finished bedchamber it, withcloseit downfromabove set stones,andI roofed well.I putuponit compacted doors, jointed AndthenI cut off the foliage of the closely. the trunk olive,andtrimming long-leafed it around with fromthe rootup, I planed andI wellandwithknowledge, the bronze to a chalk madeit straight line,thereby I borethrough a bedpost. it all constructing fromthisI overwithanauger. Beginning it, and mybed,untilI finished keptcarving it withgoldandsilver andivory. decorating AndI stretched insidethe thongof an ox, So I havearticulated withpurple. shining foryouthissign[sema]. ButI do not know the bedis stillin place,woman, whether nowsomeothermanput it orwhether elsewhere, by cuttingunderthe stumpof the tree. is the secret semathat Odysseusand This architecture know apartfrom others. Penelope What is it a sign of? The bed is a sign of the Odysseanideal of architecture, gender, and philosophyin and as immovable (re)marriage.



The bed is a sign of supportmade immovableby transmuting organismand structure,model and copy. By planingoff the bark,Odysseusremovesthe only partof the tree that is alive, its only sourceof growtheither lateralor vertical.Now the tree will petrify,turninginto the materialof monumental even the stabilityof its model, a building.Now surpassing column, the tree is a copy with roots of stone. It embodies the ideal that all columnarforms imperfectlyemulate.58 "Formal" By its fixity,the bedpost signifiesthe ideal immovabilityof and, a fortiori,of the woman, once she is moved (re)marriage to weave the place of the bed. It is the sema of female mobilwithin parenity limited to the movement of (re), of "again" Built oikos. of the walls the within by and theses, of "again" betokens bed for the man himself, the stationary (re)marriage movement, as his swallowingof the female'spharmacological "rationale" whose logos"account," that tropos"turning" A sharesthe structureof the pharmakon "poison." "cure," She communicate. woman must be movable so that men can if can female must enclose so that he can support.But the move, her placement is uncertain.If she can weave, she can unweavespace and place. What makesmarriage possible, makes its stabilityuncertain.So this constraintof the female architectural capacityis both health and harm, requiringits bed. own architectural antidote, the immovable (re)marriage How can the bedguaranteethe immovability of (re) marriage? Built into its petrifiedroots is the "greatsign"of secretknowlof genderand truth as exclusivedifference, edge. Apparatus the secret sign divides inside from outside. By its secret structure and its structureas a secret,the bed framesthe unity of a sharedknowledgethat cannot be replacedwith a representaDesigned so that distive, an equivalent,or an imitation.59 closureand displacementcoincide, the knowledgeand the location of the bed operateas symbola,twin tokens of unique If he knowsthe bed, he is identity as unique relationship.60 (her) Odysseus.Unless he has told the secret or she has, no but one other than the actual man, not a pseudo-Odysseus only the one "liketo himself,"can speakits "hiddensigns."If she has not moved the bed, she remains (his) Penelope and unmoved. But if it has been moved, then their (re)marriage and with it, her kleosas Penelope has castratedthe marriage female paragon.

9. Arata Isozaki,Musashi-kyuryo CountryClub,SaitamaPrefecture, 1988. Foursixty-foot-high trunksof three-hundredyear-old cryptomeriatrees, stripped of branchesand bark, support an obelisk-shapedtower at the center of the entrance hall.


assemblage 21

Did a stranger melt her heart,as did Odysseushimself, with Did he speaksigns "falsethings like [homoia]to realthings"?61 with the same uncertainfooting as the semataempeda"recogOdyssey25.205-6 nized"earlierby Penelope in Odysseus'sdescriptionof his So he spoke, andrightthereherkneesand mantle and brooch?62 Again,the authorityof the Odyssey as sherecognized vouches for herownheartwerereleased Penelope's fidelity.Odysseuscannot. If Actorishas that the fixedsigns[semata empeda] told its secret,the bed failsas a constructionof genderand Odysseus spoketo her. immovablenor philosophy,for it cannot maintain (re)marriage The semataof the bed are "footedin" (empeda)the ground, identity unique. inside from out, the firmlystanding,exclusivelyseparating Such a subversionof the system is a possibilitythat Odysseus and philosophicquest. Recogtelos of Penelope'sarchitectural overlooks.He weeps and holds the wife who is "jointedto his nizing them bringsecstasy. - such as the Hesiodic acheart."63 Againstall its detractors count of Pandorathat concludes, "Anyman who marriesand has a praiseworthy Ideal The Metis of the OdysseanArchitectural wife, one who is jointed to his mind, for - with this conhim evil matches itself againstgood forever" Odyssey23.225-30 summate image of its ideal "joint," Odysseanarchitecture But now, since you have spoken signs easy to would close the door.
of our bed, recognize [semataariphradea] which no other mortalman has seen, but only you and I - and only one handmaiden, Actoris,whom my fathergave to me when I came here, who guardedthe door of our firm chamber- you indeed persuademy spirit, though it is veryunfeeling.

But the bed has not been moved. And Odysseushas spokenits function: "hiddensigns."The text reiteratestheir architectural

It is a pleasureto thank Jane Carter and SarahMorrisfor helpful reading of this paper.Unless otherwise noted, all translationsfrom the Greekand the Latin are mine. is used to 1. The term (re)marriage designate the renewalof an existing relationship,ratherthan a remarriageproperfollowing either divorce or death. The distinction between the two is not exclusive. 2. On the foundation of historyand philosophyvia the "invention"of mythology as their differentiating "other,"see Marcel Detienne, The Inventionof Mythology,trans. Margaret Cook (Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press, 1986). For a psychoanalytic and an anthropological account of the relationbetween gender and what is understood as biological sex, see Juliet Mitchell and JacquelineRose, eds. Feminine Sexuality:JacquesLacan and the ecole freudienne(New York:Norton, 1982), and Carol P. MacCormack

In acknowledging her recognition, Penelope inserts a parenthesis within the security of her immovable (re)marriage. Here in the "parenthetical" person of the maid Actoris - is a potential gap in the semata ariphradea of Odyssean architecture, gender, and philosophy. Stationed in the liminal position of the female, mistress of passages, Actoris, "she who leads," could have told what she knew about the bed to others, just as before Penelope's disloyal handmaids revealed the metis of the web. But what did Actoris know? In Greek "to know" is "to have seen." Did the sight of the bed reveal its foundation? And if Actoris did know and tell, who would be compromised? Only Penelope, since someone other than Odysseus could now be speaking the secret signs. "We" know that either the present speaker is the true Odysseus or the Odyssey itself is a "Cretan lie." Penelope cannot. As for the past, if anyone has spoken these signs before, Penelope cannot take the present speaker for the unique Odysseus, unless she is hiding a past deception.

and MarilynStrathern,eds., Nature, Cultureand Gender(Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress, 1980). For a recent reviewof the research on gender, see Thomas Laqueur, MakingSex:Bodyand Genderfrom the Greeksto Freud (Cambridge, Mass.:HarvardUniversityPress, 1990), 1-24. 3. On the "archaeology" retracing Renaissancearchitecturaltheory through Vitruviusto Plato's Timaeus,see Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principlesin the Age of Humanism (New York:St. Martin's Press, 1988). 4. On nous as the mental faculty of recognition and knowledgeof the sema, see GregoryNagy, "Sema and Noesis: Some Illustrations," Arethusa:Semioticsand Classical Studies 16, nos. 1-2 (1983): 35-55. 5. Marcel Detienne and Jean-Pierre Vernant,Cunning Intelligencein GreekCultureand Society,trans. Janet Lloyd (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: HarvesterPress, 1978), is the



essential workon metis. On the workand intelligence of the artisan as metis, see PierreVidal-Naquet,"A Study in Ambiguity:Artisansin the Platonic City," in The BlackHunter: Formsof Thoughtand Formsof Society in the GreekWorld,trans.Andrew Szegedy-Maszac(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UniversityPress, 1986), 224-45. 6. See Vernantand Detienne, Cunning Intelligence,34, 37, for these classic examples:The hunted fox reversesitself, plays dead, and turns into a trap for the hunter. The hooked fox-fish turns its body inside out, so that its interiorbecomes its exterior,and the hook falls out. 7. See ibid., 46: "The ultimate expression of these qualities is the circle, the bond that is perfect because it completely turns back on itself, is closed in on itself, with neither beginning nor end, front nor rear,and which in rotation becomes both mobile and immobile, moving in both directions at once.... The circle unites within it severalopposites each one giving birth to its opposite, it appearsas the strangest, most baffling thing in the world, thaumasiotaton,possessing a power which is beyond ordinarylogic." 8. Ibid., 305. 9. See PierreChantraine, de la Dictionnaireetymologique languegrecque(Paris:Klincksieck, 1977), 699, s.v. metis. Chantraine cites the cognate verbs medomaiand medomai"devise,""contrive"and the nouns Sanskritmdti "measure," "exact knowledge"and Anglo-Saxon moed "measure."See also metron "measurement."Clytemnestra'suse of her metis to "devise"(mesato) evil for her husband is noted below. 10. See the HomericHymn to Aphrodite12-15. On the building of war machines as a part of the an-

cient architecturalrepertoire,see bk. 10, Vitruvius,De architectura, chaps. 10-16, the climax of his treatise. On the connection between weavingand architecture,see also Callimachus, Hymn to Apollo 55-57: "Men follow Phoebus when they measure out cities. For Phoebus always delights in founding cities, and he himselfweavestheirfoundations." 11. See Zoe Petre, "Trophoniusou l'architecte:A propos du statut des techniciens dans la cite grecque," Studii Classice 18 (1979): 23-37. On the ancient sources of the myth of Trophonius and its many variantsin other cultures, see Sir JamesGeorge Frazer'snote on Pausanius,bk. 9, chap. 37, in Pausanias'sDescription of Greece,Translatedwith a Commentary(London: Macmillan, 1913), 176-79. The activities of Trophonius and his brother Agamedes exemplify architectural metis. After building many monuments, including the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the pair design the treasuryof a king who, like his divine counterpart,requiresthe products of metis to preservehis political But ratherthan secur"property." ing the king's gold, the architects build a secret passage through which to steal it gradually.Thus rearchitectural versingthe "proper" function, the architects construct a means for exposure instead of enclosure and dispossess their client of the economic talisman of his political identity. Once he discoversthe dolos, the king sets a trap of his own in which Agamedes is caught. The contest then continues as the brothers imitate the enemy to beat him at his own game. In an ironic assimilation of the king's loss of recognition, the two prevent the king from recognizingthem by depriving themselves of identifiable form: Agamedes asksTrophonius to cut

off his head, and after obliging his brother,Trophonius escapes to a place where he is swallowedup by the earth and becomes an oracular hero. 12. Hesiod, Theogony471, terms the trickof the stone a metis, when Rhea begs Gaea and Ouranus to "devisetogether with her a metis by which she could make him [Cronus] forget that she bore her dear child." 13. Compare the substitution of the swaddled stone for the real child with the Muses' capacity to substitute "falsethings like [homoia]to real things"and "truethings," wheneverthey wish, in Hesiod, Theogony27-28. On the architectural significance of such swaddling, or "cladcompare the "dressing" ding" (Bekleidung)of a building in the theory of nineteenth-century comparativearchitecturalhistorian and theoretician Gottfried Semper, in The FourElementsof Architecture and Other Writings,trans. Harry FrancisMallgraveand Wolfgang Herrmann(Cambridge:Cambridge UniversityPress, 1989), 24, 34, 3640, 103-10, 240-43. On the relations between Semper'sworkand KarlBotticher'sDie Tektonikder Hellenen, see Wolfgang Herrmann, "Semperand the Archeologist Botticher,"chap. 3 of Gottfried Semper:In Searchof Architecture (Cambridge,Mass.:MIT Press,

strates its load-bearingproperty,the purpose of symbolic architectureis "the erection of something which is a unifying point for a nation." Its elements are often imitative of natural, organic forms and emphasize the unroofed space enclosure rather than load-bearingsupport. See Georg Wilhelm FriedrichHegel, Aesthetics:Lectureson Fine Art, trans.Thomas Malcolm Knox (Oxford:Oxford UniversityPress, 1975), 2:630-700. See also Daniel Payot, Le Philosopheet l'architecte(Paris: Aubier Montaigne, 1982), 29-50. 15. Hesiod, Theogony886-900. 16. Aristotle'sGenerationof Animals presents a similar"battle of the sexes" as the sperm, a dynamic tekt6n,attempts to master (kratein) the passive materialof the menstrual fluid with the instrument of his "informing" soul (730b, 736a, 737a, 765b, 766b, 767b). bk. 1, 17. Apollodorus,Library, chap. 3, sec. 6. 18. See Vitruvius,De architectura, bk. 2, 2-7: "Therefore,since because of the invention of fire there was born at the beginning coming together among men and reasoning together and living together, and many came together into one place, by having from nature an advantage over other animals, so that they walkednot with their head down but upright and gazed upon the magnificence of the world and the stars,and likewise with their hands and fingersthey handled easily whateverthey wished, they began in that joining together some to make shelters [tecta] from a branch, others to dig caves under mountains, severalby imitating [imitantes] the nests of swallowsand their modes of constructing [aedificationes]to make places [loca] from mud and wattles that they might go under."

14. See Hesiod, Theogony498-500. This monolith would count among the examples of what Hegel calls "symbolic"architecture,the first stage in the progressivedevelopment towardthe Classical and, finally, the Romantic/Gothic types. In contrast to the Classical ideal, in which the elements must "display" (zeigen) their definitively architectural function, as a column, to take Hegel's prime example, demon-


assemblage 21

For the view of Renaissancearchitect Leon BattistaAlberti that "roof and walls"first brought humans together in community, see On the Art of Building,trans.Joseph Rykwert,Neil Leach, and Robert Tavernor(Cambridge,Mass.:MIT Press, 1988), 3. On the Western tradition of myths of originalarchitecture derivingfrom both Vitruvian and Biblicalexemplars,see Joseph Rykwert,On Adam'sHouse in Paradise: The Idea of the PrimitiveHut in Architectural History (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1972). 19. In "Structural Elements of Architecture" Assyrian-Chaldean (chap. 10 of Comparative Building Theory[1850]; trans. in Herrmann, GottfriedSemper,204), Semper discusses these "twobasic elements of building - the roof with the supporting columns, and the vertical enclosure later to become the wall of the living room."On these elements as exemplaryfunctions of the Classicaland symbolic stages, respectively, in Hegel's philosophy of architecture,see Aesthetics,2:63076. 20. See Odyssey2.125-26, 18.25155, 19.124. 21. Compare Pindar,Frag. 181, in Bruno Snell and HerwigMaehler, eds., PindariCarminacum Fragmentis (Leipzig:Teubner, 1975): "forby virtue of common origin [literally,'from the household'] praiseis mixed with blame." 22. Just as later, Odyssey2.110, "she finished the shroud,even though she was unwilling, compelled by force of necessity [hup'anagkes]." See below for furtherdiscussion. 23. See Claude Levi-Strauss,The Structuresof Kinship, Elementary trans.James Harle Bell, John Richard von Sturmer,and Rodney Needham (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), 478-97.

24. Penelope's kerdosthus introduces the question of the relation between architectureand semiotics. Odyssean architecturaltheory is founded on the construction of the secret sign. 25. See Shoshana Felman, Le Scandal du corpsparlant (Paris:Editions du Seuil, 1980). 26. Compare the case of Bellerophon in Homer, Iliad 6.155-202. 27. Was it the servantwoman mentioned at 2.108 who revealedthe metis of the web to the suitors?It could also have been the herald Medon or the domestic Dolion (4.735). 28. Antigone witnesses to the preeminent importanceof properdeath rites. On the role of women as leaders of funeralritual,compare the mourning for Hector at the end of the Iliad. See MargaretAlexiou, The Ritual Lamentin GreekTradition (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press, 1974). 29. See Homer, Iliad 22.71-76: Priamcontrasts the corpse of a young man, which retains its beauty even in death, and that of an old man, when "dogsdisgracethe grey head and the greybeard and the genitals." 30. See Homer, Iliad 16.457, 675, 1.4-5. 31. See Herodotus,Histories2.35; see also the Dissoi Logoi 2.17. 32. On Pandora,see Hesiod, Works and Days 1-105, 352-413, 695-705, and Theogony506-16. 33. On "weavinga metis,"see Homer, Iliad, 7.324, 9.93; Odyssey 4.678, 739, 13.303, 386; and Hesiod, Shield of Heracles,28. On "weaving a dolos,"see Iliad 6.187 and Odyssey 5.356. On "weavinga metis and a dolos,"see Odyssey9.422.

34. As a construction enclosing her metis, Pandorais analogous to the jarfrom which she scatters all evils except hope. Hesiod, Worksand Days 96-97, describesthis jaras both a body and a house: "Therein the unbreakablehalls hope alone was remaininginside under the lips of the jar,and it did not fly out from the door."As both body and house, the jarparallelsPandorawith the oikos.The relationbetween the two is, however,hierarchicalratherthan equal. For the oikos is designed to worklike the "swallowing" body of Zeus: to keep the female inside, able to use her metis for "weaving" only the walls of the oikosas an image and extension of the ideal wife. 35. Sigmund Freud, "Femininity," in vol. 22 of StandardEdition, trans. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1933), 132 (my emphasis). See German Decke "cover,""ceiling," "roof,""skin,""envelope," "coat,""pretence,""screen." 36. See Ann Bergren,"Language and the Female in EarlyGreek Thought,"Arethusa:Semioticsand Classical Studies 16, nos. 1-2 (1983): 69-95. On the stateman's art as "weaving," see Plato, Politicus 278e4-79c3. In the Politicus,weaving is appropriatedas the paradigm of the stateman's knowledge (episteme)while weaving itself is degradedas a small, material,visible image (eidolon)of one of "the most honorable,bodiless, most beautiful, and greatest things" (285d4-86bl). 37. On philosophy in Plato and Aristotle as opposed to, while founded on, metaphor, see Jacques Derrida,"White Mythology:Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy,"in Marginsof Philosophy,trans.Alan Bass (Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press, 1982), 207-71. 38. See Chantraine,Dictionnaire etymologique,1098, s.v. teichos

"wall."Cognates include Avestan pairi-daeza"enclosure,""garden" and its Greek derivativeparadeisos "paradise." "garden," 39. Semper, "The Textile Art,"in The FourElementsof Architecture, 254-55; see also "The Four Elements of Architecture,"in ibid., 102-3. Compare idem, "Structural ArElements of Assyrian-Chaldean chitecture,"in Herrmann,Gottfried Semper,204-6: "It is well known that any wild tribe is familiarwith the fence or a primitive hurdle as a means of enclosing space. Weaving the fence led to weaving movable walls of bast, reed or willow twigs and later to weavingcarpets of thinner animal or vegetable fiber.... for setting apart Using wickerwork one's propertyand for floor mats and protection against heat and cold far preceded making even the roughest masonry.Wickerworkwas the originalmotif of the wall. It retained this primarysignificance, actually or ideally, when the light hurdles and mattings were later transformedinto brickor stone walls.The essence of the wall was wickerwork.... Hanging carpets remained the true walls;they were the visible boundariesof a room. The often solid walls behind them were necessaryfor reasonsthat had nothing to do with the creation of space; they were needed for protection, for supportinga load, for their permanence, etc. Wherever the need for these secondaryfunctions did not arise,carpets remained the only means for separatingspace. Even where solid walls became necessary, they were only the invisible structure hidden behind the true representatives of the wall, the colorful carpets that the walls servedto hold and support. It was therefore the coveringof the wall that was primarilyand essentially of spatial and architecturalsignificance;the wall itself was secondary."



40. See Odyssey17.37, 19.54. 41. See Levi-Strauss,The ElementaryStructuresof Kinship,496-97. 42. Odyssey2.110, 113-14. See also 24.146ff.: the ghost of the suitor Amphimedon indicates that the finishing of the shroud directly precedes or is contemporaneous with the returnof Odysseus. 43. Ibid., 23.16-19. 44. Ibid., 26-62. 45. On the relationbetween Odysseus and the suitors as simulacra,or "falsepretenders,"to his unique identity, see Gilles Deleuze, "Platoand the Simulacra," in The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale (New York:Columbia UniversityPress, 1990), 253-59 (translationslightly altered): "Platonismis the philosophical Odysseyand the Platonic dialectic is neither a dialectic of contradiction nor of contrariety,but a dialectic of rivalry(amphisbetesis), a dialectic of rivalsand suitors" (254). "Copies are secondarypossessors.They are well-founded pretenders, guaranteedby resemblance; simulacraare like false pretenders, built upon a dissimilarity,implying an essential perversionor a deviation. It is in this sense that Plato divides in two the domain of images-idols:on one hand, there are copies-icons,on the other, there are simulacra-phantasms" (256). 46. The Greek words for test (peira "penetrationto the end," "test") and for boundary (peirar,plural line," "determipeirata "boundary nant") are cognates, each deriving from the root *per"go through to the end point." 47. Odyssey23.110. 48. Compare Anchises's procedure in the HomericHymn to Aphrodite. 49. Odyssey23.73.

50. Ibid., 19.386-475. 51. On the sema as a gravestone, see Emily D. T. Vermeule,Aspects of Death in EarlyGreekArt and Poetry (Berkeley: Universityof California Press, 1979), 45: "The classical sema can be both the external sign of the invisible dead in the grave, and the substitute person, especially kept alive in memory when written upon." On the tomb as a signal instance of "symbolicarchitecture" in Hegelian philosophy, see Hegel, Aesthetics,esp. 2:650-54 on the pyramidsand the mausoleum.

form or paradigm;see, for example, Timaeus28b-29d, Republic472c9dl, Parmenides132dl-4 (where the participationof the particularin the paradigmis preciselythe relation of likeness), and Sophist 264c-68d. 60. Used as a means of identification, especiallyto secure contracts and treaties, the symbolondesignates an incomplete object, such as one half of a knucklebone,that must be brought together (symballein) with its other half to prove the identity of the bearer.The term is also used of a single object related to individualsby their exclusive knowledge of it. In the case of the objects that identify Creusa and Ion as mother and son, for example, Creusa'sdescription of the contents of Ion's cradle,before seeing them, worksas her "halfof the knucklebone" (Euripides,Ion 1386-442). In the same categorybelong the purple mantle and golden pin that the disguised Odysseus describes in response to Penelope's peiraof his claim to have been Odysseus'shost in Crete (19.215-50). Penelope them as "fixed signs" "recognizes" (semataempeda)of their speaker's identity, when, in fact, they can signify Odysseus, his host, or any other guest present at the time. 61. Ibid., 19.203-12. See also 14.124-30. 62. See n. 60 above. 63. Odyssey23.232.

1. Museo Civico, Chiusi. From Jan HendrikJongkeesand Willem Jacob Verdenius,PlatenatlasBij Homerus (Haarlem:TjeekhkWillink, 1955). 2. MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York. 3. Staatliche Museum, Berlin. 4, 5, 8. ArthurDrexler,The Architectureof Japan (New York:Museum of ModernArt, 1955). 6. S. Boekoenyi,S. Papadopoulous, and D. R. Theocharis, eds., Neolithic Greece (Athens:National Bankof Greece, 1973). 7. Kostos Kouremenos,Sarkatsonoi (Athens:Melissa Press, 1984). 9. Architectural Record176, no. 8 (July 1988).

52. Odyssey 23.84-85.

53. Ibid., 85-95. 54. Ibid., 111, 113-14. On the ainos, see 14.462-506, and Gregory Nagy, The Best of the Achaeans: Conceptsof the Hero in Archaic GreekPoetry(Baltimore:Johns Hopkins UniversityPress, 1979) 234-41. 55. Odyssey23.130-65. 56. Ibid., 166-81. 57. Ibid., 184-89. 58. On the column as derived from the tree, being alreadyrectilinearin its truck and branches,and as exemplaryof the beauty of Classical architecture, that is, the pure display of architecturalpurpose, see Hegel, Aesthetics, 2:665-69. 59. Compare the relation of truth in the Platonic system as that of the homoion,that which is "like," "same,""equalto itself." For the Platonic idiom "to be homoios" equals "trueto yourself,"see Plato, Symposium173d4 and Republic 549e2. For the collocation of "like" and "true"as synonymous, see Sophist 252dl and Philebus65d2-3; as reciprocal,see Phaedrus273dl-6. The basis of this relation is the "likeness"or "sameness"of the sensible particularand the intelligible


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