This article is a commentary on Friedrich Kittler's “In the Wake of the Odyssey.” Kittler reads Homer as a cultural-technological program for later historical development and finds later authors such as Virgil and Dante inferior to Homer. Kittler's “Wake” rehearses on a smaller scale arguments made in his late work Music and Mathematics. His work is seen as determined by two movements of excursion, going out to the exotic, whether North American or Mediterranean, and recursion, meaning the closure of mathematical or logical systems. Yet recursion, in Kittler, turns out to be more a rhetorical figure than a function.

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