Exhaustion and Recycling: The Figures of the Danaids in Babits, Nietzsche, Freud, and Proust
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This paper examines the works of representative modernist authors who have rewritten the myth of the Danaids in a self-reflective way. They reuse certain elements of the myth in order to address some of the crucial issues of cultural transmission: interpretation, poetic tradition and communication. The argument focuses on the recycling of the myth of the Danaids as a symbol of endless historical-philological (Nietzsche) and psychological (Freud) interpretations, the exhaustion and the reinvention of the classical literary tradition (Babits), and the impossible possibility of mediating the living voice through telephonic communication (Proust).