Download Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics by Stephen Halliwell PDF

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 concept and feedback. Halliwell's quantity bargains a chain of exact and demanding interpretations of a few of the defining authors and texts within the heritage of historic 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 problem is with how the Greeks conceptualized the adventure of poetry and debated the values of that have. The book's organizing subject is a recurrent Greek dialectic among rules of poetry as, at the one hand, a powerfully mesmerizing event in its personal correct (a form of 'ecstasy') and, at the different, a medium for the expression of truths that may workout lasting impact on its audiences' perspectives of the realm. bringing up quite a lot of sleek scholarship, and making common connections with later sessions of literary thought and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and obtained reviews concerning the texts analysed. The ensuing standpoint casts new gentle on ways that the Greeks tried to make experience 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 conception and feedback.

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Extra info for Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus

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129–37) remains an overstated but interesting thesis that Thucydides partly succumbed to a mythologizing impulse in his own writing. For later Greek attitudes to the relationship between history and ‘myth’, cf. Walbank 1985: 224–41. 45 Compare Aristotle’s principle that poetry must ‘make’/‘compose’ (ðïØåEí) its narrative materials into a coherent world (a unified muthos) of their own, even where those materials are taken from history, Poet. 1451b27–32. But see my text below for an important difference between Thucydides and Aristotle.

The importance of Isocrates’ relationship to poetry resides not in anything he says about poetry on its own terms but in his demonstration of how a pragmatist agenda effectively brings with it an indelibly prosaic perspective on the world. The final figure examined in Chapter 6 is the Epicurean controversialist Philodemus. The difficult fragments of his treatise On Poems indicate that, through an extensive sifting of earlier poetic theories, Philodemus tried to steer a route between the Scylla of moralism (subscribed to by those who equated the value of poetry with edification or ethical benefit) and the Charybdis of formalism (represented by extreme euphonists who took the value of poetry to consist entirely in the sensory properties of its language).

49 24 Setting the Scene half a century before Aristotle was to restrict history to statements of particulars, reserving for poetry the quasi-philosophical capacity to convey ‘universals’, Thucydides couples knowledge of both particulars and universals together and places them firmly within the domain of history. 50 For Thucydides the rationalist, this seems to leave poetry with a severely attenuated value. Traces of truth about the past can be no more than a partial, contingent, and unreliable feature of poetry, something the student of history will turn to only as a pis aller and with caution.

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