Lyric Texts and Lyric Consciousness: The Birth of a Genre by Paul Allen Miller

By Paul Allen Miller

Lyric Texts and Lyric attention provides a version for learning the historical past of lyric as a style. Prof Miller attracts a contrast among the paintings of the Greek lyrists and the extra condensed, own poetry that we go along with lyric. He then confronts the theoretical matters and offers a worldly, Bakhtinian interpreting of the improvement of the lyric shape from its origins in archaic Greece to the extra individualist type of Augustan Rome. This ebook will attract classicists and, in view that English translations of passages from the traditional authors are supplied, to those that concentrate on comparative literature.

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11 Such patterns of usage in aesthetic/poetic forms can be shown to preexist any explicit theorizing of their nature or of their hierarchical relations to one another, as in the case of Archilochus. Thus, the Greeks divided poetry into categories such as dactylic hexameter, dactyloepitritic, aeolic, elegiac, and iambic, categories which, as shown above, denoted not merely metrical, but also stylistic, cultic, and social divisions. Nor is this simply an idio-syncrasy of Greek culture. The same phenomenon appears in the basic distinction between poetic and casual speech, found in preindustrial communities around the world, as well as in finer distinctions between songs of prayer, songs of celebration, and songs recalling the epic deeds of heroes past.

His was the task of ratifying social bonds by establishing the boundaries of the community, its accepted areas of deviation, and its solidarity before the outside and the other. In this context, we may cite Jaeger himself: The general course of development followed by the iambic in early Greek poetry after Archilochus makes it certain that, when an iambic poet criticizes a person, an opinion, or a tendency, which has for any reason attracted public attention, he is not voicing a casual dislike of his own, but speaking as the representative and teacher of his fellow citizens.

18ff) and Archilochus’ fragment 128 (Jaeger 1945:125). These considerations on Archilochus’ relation to the Homeric tradition bring us to our second line of argument: the fictional nature of the traditional life of Archilochus. Mary Lefkowitz has argued that the ancient biographies of Archilochus, on which the traditional claims of his recounting the events of his own life are based, were late-Hellenistic compilations derived from the poetry itself (Lefkowitz 1976:181–82; 1981b:viii–ix, 25–31).

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