The end of all such waiting will produce Odysseus’ miraculous homecoming and the finished text of The Odyssey. But these, I suggest, are only temporary closures of waiting. We will open The Odyssey again, Penelope will re-commence her waiting. We will wait again. Literary narratives teach us how to come to the end of waiting and then to wait again, how to weave and unweave our time, how to compose and revise our life. They teach us also that no end, no object of waiting can fulfill our waiting. “Whatever the importance of the object of

waiting, it is always infinitely surpassed by the movement of waiting,” as Maurice Blanchot puts it.2 As if to enact the endlessness of this movement of waiting, Odysseus will be restless at the end of The Odyssey, planning new journeys and new exploits. What constitutes a literary text or work of art is not its formal closure or aesthetic completeness but rather its continuity in our own time of waiting.