From On Blindness:
I will begin with that obvious example of the friendship of poetry and blindness, with the one who has been called the greatest of poets: Homer. (We know of another blind Greek poet, Tamiris, whose work has been lost. Tamiris was defeated in a battle with the Muses, who broke his lyre and took away his sight.)
Oscar Wilde had a curious hypothesis, one which I don't think is historically correct but which is intellectually agreeable. In general, writers try to make what they say seem profound; Wilde was a profound man who tried to seem frivolous. He wanted us to think of him as a conversationalist; he wanted us to consider him as Plato considered poetry, as "that winged, fickle, sacred thing." Well, that winged, fickle, sacred thing called Oscar Wilde said that Antiquity had deliberately represented Homer as blind.
We do not know if Homer existed. The fact that seven cities vie for his name is enough to make us doubt his historicity. Perhaps there was no sin gle Homer; perhaps there were many Greeks whom we conceal under the name of Homer. The traditions are unanimous in showing us a blind poet, yet Homer's poetry is visual, often splendidly visual-as was, to a far lesser degree, that of Oscar Wilde.
Wilde realized that his own poetry was too visual, and he wanted to cure himself of that defect. He wanted to make poetry that was aural, musical-let us say like the poetry of Tennyson, or of Verlaine, whom he loved and admired so. Wilde said that the Greeks claimed that Homer was blind in order to emphasize that poetry must be aural, not visual. From that comes the "de la musique avant toute chose" of Verlaine and the symbolism contemporary to Wilde.
We may believe that Homer never existed, but that the Greeks imagined him as blind in order to insist on the fact that poetry is, above all, music; that poetry is, above all, the lyre; that the visual can or cannot exist in a poet. I know of great visual poets and great poets who are not visual-intellectual poets, mental ones-there's no need to mention names.*
What are the aluminum discs referred to?
It is the case that these ideas didn't just come from nowhere, Düntzer is important here along with other German speaking experts on orality and the metrics of poetry and Matija Murko along with many other scholars of oral South Slavic poetry.
I'm not an expert but I've always understood that the consensus on Parry's contribution was that he developed not the idea about how oral poetry differs from written poetry when compared side by side but on developing techniques to detect the traces of previous oral traditions in poetry that was now exclusively written.
In some ways, the only really sui generis contributions of Perry and Lord which are not part of a larger tradition and the importance of which should not be underestimated is the vast collection of recordings of South Slavic oral epic poetry. There was narrow window where that was possible, any earlier and the recording technology didn't exist. Any later and that culture was completely disrupted. Obviously there remain South Slavic oral poetry traditions but something like that doesn't make it through universal literacy, radio, and television unchanged and all of those came rapidly to the Balkans in the period immediately after.
Gottfried Herrman seems to have argued the same just from the textual structure of the works in 1840.
Source is the german version of this english Wikipedia article:
The english version mentions Wolf in a sentence but then concludes
> This perspective, however, did not receive mainstream recognition until after the seminal work of Milman Parry
Which might be a fair assessment.
The german part on Wolf's work is here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homerische_Frage#Die_Forschung...
Had Homer been german, they would never have questioned a national hero.
Prussia, in turn, was very much in love with classicism (like pretty much everybody at the time), which pretty much amounts to worshipping Hellenic and Roman culture.
“Matt Groening, who changed the way non-scholars think about Homer”
The idea that Homer did not create the mythologies, but catalogued oral history, makes some sense.
I fail to see the connection to Peterson, who I admittedly only know of as a self-help guru.