By Stephen Halliwell
In addition to generating one of many most interesting of all poetic traditions, old Greek tradition produced a huge culture of poetic idea and feedback. Halliwell's quantity deals a sequence of unique and difficult interpretations of a few of the defining authors and texts within the background of historical Greek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Gorgias's Helen, Isocrates' treatises, Philodemus' On Poems, and Longinus' at the Sublime.
The volume's basic drawback is with how the Greeks conceptualized the event of poetry and debated the values of that have. The book's organizing subject matter is a recurrent Greek dialectic among rules of poetry as, at the one hand, a powerfully mesmerizing adventure in its personal correct (a form of 'ecstasy') and, at the different, a medium for the expression of truths that can workout lasting impression on its audiences' perspectives of the area. mentioning quite a lot of glossy scholarship, and making widespread connections with later sessions of literary concept and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and obtained evaluations in regards to the texts analysed. The ensuing point of view casts new mild on ways that the Greeks tried to make feel of the psychology of poetic experience―including the jobs of emotion, ethics, mind's eye, and knowledge―in the lifetime of their culture.
Readership: students and scholars of Greek literature, Greek poetics, and literary idea and feedback.
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Extra info for Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus
There are, of course, inescapable differences between the, so to speak, protopoetics embedded within these works and the theoretical conceptions of poetic value later elaborated by critics and intellectuals. ’ My answer will try to draw out how the Iliad and Odyssey share a sensitivity to factors which affect the signiﬁcance and value of song in relation to different audiences and contexts of performance. It is no accident that both epics bring their protagonists into close and paradoxical encounters with song: in Achilles’ case, above all when he sings a kind of epic (to/for) himself at the very time when he has withdrawn in anger and disillusionment from the world of epic heroism; in Odysseus’, when he listens to the blind bard Demodocus at the Phaeacian court and is moved to request a song about himself which causes him emotional anguish.
There is no better way of gaining an immediate sense of what is at stake here than by foregrounding two extraordinarily resonant but perplexing images of song from the Iliad and Odyssey, each involving the central hero of its respective work. 186–91 at the point where the embassy sent by Agamemnon to appease Achilles and persuade him to return to the battleﬁeld ﬁnds the young warrior in his tent, singing to his own accompaniment on an exquisitely beautiful lyre. Achilles is singing of ‘the renown of men’ (ŒºÝÆ IíäæHí), a phrase which in some sense (though one which will call for further discussion) can be regarded as descriptive of Homeric epic itself.
But it is a mufﬂed compliment, since he betrays an inclination to diminish the cultural prestige of poetry in the interests of proclaiming the signiﬁcance of his own work. 4 employs an old vocabulary for the intense pleasure of poetry (note the two cases from the Homeric Hymn to Apollo quoted at Thuc. 4–5); see Ch. 2, 45–6, with Index of Greek Terms. 2). 3. 47 L ªaæ ôcí ðüºØí oìíÅóÆ, Æƒ ôHíäå ŒÆd ôHí ôïØHíäå IæåôÆd KŒüóìÅóÆí. . 2. Setting the Scene 23 its truth-telling or truth-preserving credentials, conceding the former (though with a rhetorical slant which makes immediacy of impact a poor second-best to the lasting effects of history) in order all the more emphatically to downplay any claim to historical authenticity.