Operation Pacific (x) Oddly, the Patricia Neal character alludes to the “winnowing fan” story of the Odyssey at one point… if I remember from the Odyssey correctly, Teresias foretells to Odysseus that he must travel with an oar (a “winnowing fan”) on his shoulder to a land where people don’t recognize what it is; then he will finally propitiate Poseidon (who’s held a grudge against him). In Operation Pacific, it is one of Neal’s love interests –a combatant of the pacific theater– who, she says, plans on walking to Kansas with an oar on his shoulder until nobody can recognize it; that’s how much he dislikes the water, according to Neal. (Interesting to reflect: is hating water the modern equivalent of being hated by Poseidon, the god of water? Maybe Greek gods are to modern mortals as the passive to the active voice –if that makes sense– which it may not)

Wikipedia: Winnowing Oar / winnowing fan


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