«The human will is concretized as the only way to understand life: this is illustrated by Alexander’s famous gesture before the Gordian knot; Cutting is the same as untying. The stories of the Mediterranean focus on this gesture, which is the same as that of Pytheas when he opted for the journey to unravel what was hidden from the eyes of his contemporaries. If we think based on understanding the messages that nature sends us, we will conclude that chance is the answer to destiny. But can we carry out the representation of a certain past without resorting to the history that made it possible? Perhaps the narration of that immortal story is for us the most unavoidable means of updating the meaning of life innate to the human being.

With extraordinary amenity, José Enrique Ruiz-Domènec constructs an elegant portrait of the Mediterranean world from classical antiquity to the present day that integrates ideas and events, historical and literary figures, political intrigues and human passions, works of art and books from a library of knowledge universal.

José Enrique Ruiz-Domènec reveals one by one the different aspects of the existence of the people who made the history of this sea. Thus, the historian questions the meaning of the adventures exemplarily described in Homer’s Odyssey, trying to reveal the secret life of feelings and their effect on everyday decisions: “the” dream of Ulysses “(a journey home loaded with of successes) took over Mediterranean culture to guide the concrete life of the men of this sea and to protect them against the tendency to forget tradition at times of change of era, and to maintain a lifestyle under a permanent reading of the classics as the basis of their illuminations of what must be done at all times and circumstances.

The Mediterranean is a space of multiple crossroads, whose construction is carried out through the elaboration of various myths: that of the wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia, that of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, that of Perseus in his desire to flying, that of Oedipus confronting his father at a crossroads, that of Jason searching for the golden fleece with the Argonauts, and others that we understand as fragments of the poetics of the world based on an encyclopedic bricoleur, inventor of universal systems armed with all possible cultural materials: these myths constitute the greatest challenge ever made to the laughter of the gods at the human desire to find a way out.

From the death of Socrates to Charlemagne, from Marco Polo to Napoleon and the wise men of Egypt, from Trieste to Israel, from Olympic Barcelona to the Balkan War, The Dream of Ulysses is the great work of a master of historiography who , after fifty years of study on the Mediterranean and various successful books, presents the definitive synthesis of a melting pot of civilizations that has marked the course of history indelibly over three thousand years.

With fascinating narrative skill, the author offers an illuminating reflection on the importance of the Mediterranean legacy in world culture, from the Trojan War, which inspired the epic poetry of Homer, to the boats, which reach our shores today and constitute the image of our worst decisions. A history book to travel to the past, understand the present and think about the future.

José Enrique Ruiz-Domènec (Granada, 1948) is a writer and academic; He has been a visiting professor at numerous European and American universities, as well as a professor of Medieval History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona from 1969 to the present. He serves as History editor. National Geographic. He won the City of Barcelona Essay Prize for The historian’s challengeand was a finalist for the Prix du Livre Européen with Europe. The keys to its history.

Source: https://algunoslibrosbuenos.com/el-sueno-de-ulises

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