Aristotle Poetics: Editio Maior of the Greek Text with Historial Introductions and Philological Commentaries. Edited by Leonardo Tarán and Dimitri Gutas. Mnemosyne Supplements, vol. 338. Leiden: Brill, 2012. Pp. xiii + 536. $226, €162.
Garrod, Smith and the contributors of the volume envisage the longue durée poetics of an early modern genre. They interpret its poetics alongside its various epistemic agenda and make a case for the literary status of natural history.
This paper, therefore, ploughs the furrow of postcolonial history, memory and the poetic imagination deploying the poetry of the Nigerian poet Joe Ushie.In particular, the paper negotiates the Rwandan genocide as a tragic foreground of the imperial process through its indulgent, artificial fixing of boundaries to accomplish its empire-building project in Africa. But beyond the colonial mediation in, and onslaught on, the cultures of others, the paper argues that African societies have also been complicit in their agonistic and violent (...)history as the Rwandan genocide amply demonstrates. The paper concludes that a martial culture reminiscent of Civan, the warmonger, which manifests itself in private and especially public domains will only entrench intolerance, ethnocentrism, communal wars and violent death on the continent. (shrink)
When Giovanni Boccaccio undertook to compile the myths of Greco-Roman antiquity in the mid-fourteenth century, he was working within a long tradition of medieval commentaries on Ovid's mythological works and mythographical compendia, such as Alberic of London's De deis gentium. His Genealogie deorum gentilium libri, on which he worked until the final years of his life, also falls within the traditions of biblical exegesis and of philosophical commentary on texts, such as Boethius's De consolatione philosophiae and Virgil's Aeneid. The complex (...) and eclectic nature of Boccaccio's learning, however, along with the antimodern organizational structure of the treatise, has led to the underestimation of its importance in the history of medieval and Renaissance approaches to ancient myth. As Charles Osgood's partial translation of the work demonstrates, the focus of critics has been limited to the final two books of the treatise, in which Boccaccio defends both poetry and his work from detractors. The fourteenth and fifteenth books of the Genealogie have been by far the most long-lived sections of the work. The straightforward defense of poetry through recourse to the topos of the poeta theologus places the work in a historical continuum that leads from Albertino Mussato and Francesco Petrarca to Coluccio Salutati, Marsilio Ficino, and Angelo Poliziano, not to mention the poetic theorists of the English Renaissance, such as Sir Philip Sidney. (shrink)
This chapter will examine Smith’s views on poetics with particular attention to their relationship to his broader social theoretical concerns with conjectural history. I argue that history and poetics cannot be clearly separated in Smith’s system, and therefore that Smith’s poetics must be approached through his understanding of history and historiography and their reliance on fact as he conceives it as part of the science of man. Poetry becomes an interesting anomaly within this system (...) in that Smith harbours some anxiety over poetry’s capability, based on its form, to relate the facts of the science of human nature to its readers and thus provide them with moral education. (shrink)
This book is not only a major twentieth-century contribution to Dostoevsky’s studies, but also one of the most important theories of the novel produced in our century. As a modern reinterpretation of poetics, it bears comparison with Aristotle.“Bakhtin’s statement on the dialogical nature of artistic creation, and his differentiation of this from a history of monological commentary, is profoundly original and illuminating. This is a classic work on Dostoevsky and a statement of importance to critical theory.” Edward Wasiolek“Concentrating (...) on the particular features of ‘Dostoevskian discourse,’ how Dostoevsky structures a hero and a plot, and what it means to write dialogically, Bakhtin concludes with a major theoretical statement on dialogue as a category of language. One of the most important theories of the novel in this century.” The Bloomsbury Review. (shrink)
History, according to Aristotle, relates "things that happen ; whereas poetry's function is to relate the kinds of things that happen—that is, are possible in terms of probability or necessity."1 A generic clause, expressing "the kinds of things that happen" to certain kinds of agents, distinguishes the task of the poet from that of the historian.2 History speaks of "particulars," whereas poetry speaks more of "universals." A historian might assert, for example, that Alcibiades urged the Athenians to invade (...) Sicily, or that he was later exiled, and finally murdered; whereas a poet would use Alcibiades's story to show the kind of person to whom things of that kind are likely or bound to... (shrink)
Wilhelm Bousset, a leading member of the religionsgeschichtliche school and author of a seminal work on early Christology, Kyrios Christos, is typically regarded by reviewers of his work as a classic nineteenth-century liberal who sought a secure foundation for faith in the historical Jesus. However, this view of Bousset fails to appreciate the significant development of his theological perspective on the relationship between faith and history, a perspective that underwent a profound shift due to the influence of the English (...) historian Thomas Carlyle and the Kantian philosopher Jakob Friedrich Fries. It is the influence of these two figures that enables Bousset to justify a full-scale flight from history and to seek faith's foundation elsewhere, in the poetic symbol of Jesus Christ. The resulting solution to the problem of faith and history represents a unique and compelling alternative to the solutions of the leading theologians and New Testament scholars of the early twentieth century. (shrink)
In _The Poetics of Political Thinking_ Davide Panagia focuses on the role that aesthetic sensibilities play in theorists’ evaluations of political arguments. Examining works by thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to Jacques Rancière, Panagia shows how each one invokes aesthetic concepts and devices, such as metaphor, mimesis, imagination, beauty, and the sublime. He argues that it is important to recognize and acknowledge these poetic forms of representation because they provide evaluative standards that theorists use in appraising the value of ideas—ideas (...) about justice, politics, and democratic life. An investigation into the intertwined histories of aesthetic and political accounts of representation—such as Panagia presents here—sheds light on how modes of poetic thinking delimit the questions of unity and diversity that continue to animate contemporary political theory. Panagia not only illuminates the structure of much contemporary political theory but also shows why understanding the poetics of political thinking is vital to contemporary society. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s critique of negation and his privileging of paradox as the source of political thought, Panagia suggests that a non-teleological concept of difference might generate insight into pressing questions about foreignness and citizenship. Turning to the liberal/poststructural debate that dominates contemporary political theory, he compares John Rawls’s concept of justice to Rancière’s ideas about political disagreement in order to demonstrate how, despite their differences, both thinkers comprehend aesthetic and moral reasoning as part and parcel of political writing. Considering the writings of William Hazlitt and Jürgen Habermas, he describes how the essay has become the exemplary genre of what is considered rational political argument. _The Poetics of Political Thinking_ is a compelling reappraisal of the role of representation within political thought. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Poetry: the roots of a problem; 2. A radical solution: Plato's Republic; 3. The natural history of poetry: Aristotle; 4. Ways to find truth in falsehood; 5. The marriage of Homer and Plato.
Combining literary and philosophical analysis, this study defends an utterly innovative reading of the early history of poetics. It is the first to argue that there is a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the first to connect the Socratic view of poetry with earlier literary tradition. Literary theory is usually said to begin with Plato's famous critique of poetry in the Republic. Grace Ledbetter challenges this entrenched assumption by arguing that Plato's earlier dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology (...) introduce a distinctively Socratic theory of poetry that responds polemically to traditional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the sources of this Socratic response by introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit in the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. Examining these poets' theories from a new angle that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political aims, she demonstrates their decisive influence on Socratic thinking about poetry. The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses not on censorship, but on the interpretation of poetry as a source of moral wisdom. This philosophical approach to interpreting poetry stands at odds with the poets' own theories--and with the Sophists' treatment of poetry. Unlike the Republic's focus on exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and unavoidably corrupting influence, Socrates' theory includes poetry as subject matter for philosophical inquiry within an examined life. Reaching back into what has too long been considered literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that will redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists think about Plato's poetics. (shrink)
Combining literary and philosophical analysis, this study defends an utterly innovative reading of the early history of poetics. It is the first to argue that there is a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the first to connect the Socratic view of poetry with earlier literary tradition.Literary theory is usually said to begin with Plato's famous critique of poetry in the Republic. Grace Ledbetter challenges this entrenched assumption by arguing that Plato's earlier dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology introduce (...) a distinctively Socratic theory of poetry that responds polemically to traditional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the sources of this Socratic response by introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit in the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. Examining these poets' theories from a new angle that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political aims, she demonstrates their decisive influence on Socratic thinking about poetry.The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses not on censorship, but on the interpretation of poetry as a source of moral wisdom. This philosophical approach to interpreting poetry stands at odds with the poets' own theories--and with the Sophists' treatment of poetry. Unlike the Republic's focus on exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and unavoidably corrupting influence, Socrates' theory includes poetry as subject matter for philosophical inquiry within an examined life.Reaching back into what has too long been considered literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that will redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists think about Plato's poetics. (shrink)
The Poetic Structure of the World is a major reconsideration of a crucial turningpoint in Western thought and culture: the heliocentric revolution of Copernicus and Kepler. FernandHallyn treats the work of these two figures not simply in terms of the history of science orastronomy, but as events embedded in a wider field of images, symbols, texts, and practices. Thesenew representations of the universe, he insists, cannot be explained by recourse to explanations of"genius" or "intuition."Instead, Hallyn investigates the problem of (...) how new scientific hypothesesare actually formed and the complex way in which certain facts and not others are selected tosupport a particular theory. He contends that the scientific imagination is not fundamentallydifferent from a mythic or poetic imagination and that the work of Copernicus and Kepler must beexamined on the level of rhetorical structure. Hallyn shows the sun-centered universe to beinseparable from the aesthetic, epistemological, theological, and social imperatives of bothneoplatonism and mannerism in the sixteenth centuryFernand Hallyn is a Professor in the Departmentof French Literature at the University of Ghent. Distributed for Zone Books. (shrink)
Porphyry‘s “On the Cave of the Nymphs” inaugurates a style of philosophicoallegorical interpretation of literary texts that flourished in antiquity and finds analogues in criticism down to the present. It is distinguished by its use of literary interpretation to think through speculative problems of philosophy and theology. Although it became suspect in terms of Enlightenment philological principles prescribing interpretation of the text “on its own terms,” this kind of criticism reveals the originally philosophical motives and purpose of literary criticism and (...) restores to literature the vocation of disclosing a properly poetic truth higher than that of fact or history. The history of this type of speculative criticism stemming from Porphyry‘s reading of Homer is traced forward through Latin allegorical readings of epic revolving around Virgil. This itinerary highlights the perennial and inevitable tensions between philological and philosophical approaches to interpreting literature as a revelation of truth. (shrink)
This paper reflects on affect and emotion as they relate to poetics — her/histories — in twenty-first century museums. Using specific examples, it considers the ways in which collections of material culture hold diverse meanings and how ideas are communicated to audiences over time and space but might also be challenged through imaginative activity. Key objects, exhibitions and activities discussed highlight masculinities at work in museums and include the temporary art installations by Yinka Shonibare and Fred Wilson in the (...) Victoria and Albert Museum's Norfolk House Music Room in 2007; the portrait in oils of the Jamaican scholar Francis Williams, painted by an anonymous artist around 1745; and a contemporary oral commentary by Benjamin Zephaniah in the V&A British Galleries, which are considered through a feminist lens of poetics. (shrink)
This book examines Greek engagements with the past as articulations of memory formulated against the contingency of chance associated with temporality. Based on a phenomenological understanding of temporality, it identifies four memorializing strategies: continuity , regularity , development, and acceptance of chance. This framework serves in pursuing a twofold aim: to reconstruct the literary field of memory in fifth-century bce Greece; and to interpret Greek historiography as a memorializing mode. The key contention advanced by this approach is that acts of (...) memory entailed an “idea of history” that was articulated not only in historiography, but also in epinician poetry, elegy, tragedy, and oratory. The book offers a rich account of poetic conventions and contexts through which each of these genres counterbalanced contingency through the use of exemplary and traditional modes of memory. This fine analysis highlights the grip of the present on the past as a significant feature of both historiographical and nonhistoriographical genres.The essay argues that this work fills a disciplinary gap by extending the reflection on memory to a new period, Greek antiquity. The retrospective positioning of this period at the outset of Western historical thought brings Grethlein's investigation to the center of debates about memory, temporality, and the meaning history. In engaging with the book's argument, the essay suggests that historiographical memory emerged in Greece not as a first-order encounter with time, but as a second-order encounter with forgetting. This confrontation marked a certain separation of historiography from other memorializing genres. Whereas poetic and rhetorical memories were posited against contingency, historiography sought to retrieve those aspects of the past that may otherwise have been irretrievably lost and forgotten. In doing so, it formulated the historiographical imperative as a negation of forgetting that problematized the truth-value of memory and the very act of remembering the past. (shrink)