Downes, Jeremy M. 1961-

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DOWNES, Jeremy M. 1961-

PERSONAL: Born 1961. Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—English Department, Auburn University, 8076 Haley Center, Auburn, AL 36849. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Auburn University, Auburn, AL, Department of English, associate professor, director of the graduate program. Web manager of HyperEpos, a collection of links to epic texts, resources, and materials.


Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition, University of Alabama Press (Tuscaloosa, AL), 1997.

Also the author of poetry and articles; editor of internet texts.

WORK IN PROGRESS: The Female Homer, a study of women's performance as epic poets; a new translation of the epic, Baal.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeremy M. Downes is a professor of English at Auburn University who specializes in epic poetry. His 1997 title, Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition, re-examines the epic form, challenging the traditional views of epic poetry by using psychoanalytical theory to find similarities in epic poetry from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Omeros, by Derek Walcott. Other texts examined include Light in Troy, by H.D., which Downes pairs with Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh, and Paradise Lost as compared to the Ossianic poems. The Odyssey, Troilus and Cressida, The Fall of Hyperion, The Bridge, and Helen in Egypt are other works which Downes looks at in his attempt, as a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement noted, "to provide nothing less than a new account of the dynamics of the epic genre."

The contributor for Times Literary Supplement went on to comment that "Downes's work is at its strongest when not in thrall to his argument." In a similar vein, S. C. Dillon, reviewing Recursive Desire in Choice, felt that Downes's "argument is unnecessarily obscured by poststructuralist jargon." However, Dillon noted that "the devoted undergraduate or graduate student of epic will surely find some useful ideas and readings."



Choice, November, 1997, S. C. Dillon, review of Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition, p. 472.

Times Literary Supplement, June 19, 1998, review of Recursive Desire..


Auburn University Web site, (December 9, 2004), author biography and home page.*