Download Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts by Andrew L. Ford PDF

By Andrew L. Ford

Aristotle can be a thinker and as a theorist of poetry, yet he used to be additionally a composer of songs and verse. this is often the 1st complete research of Aristotle's poetic task, studying his last fragments in terms of the sooner poetic culture and to the literary tradition of his time. Its centerpiece is a examine of the one entire ode to outlive, a track commemorating Hermias of Atarneus, Aristotle's better half's father and buyer within the 340's BCE. This striking textual content is expounded to have embroiled the thinker in fees of impiety and so is studied either from a literary point of view and in its political and spiritual contexts.Aristotle's literary antecedents are studied with an remarkable fullness that considers the full variety of Greek poetic varieties, together with poems by means of Sappho, Pindar, and Sophocles, and prose texts to boot. except its curiosity as a posh and refined poem, the music for Hermias is noteworthy as one of many first Greek lyrics for which we now have mammoth and early proof for a way and the place it was once composed, played, and got. It hence gives a chance to reconstruct how Greek lyric texts functioned as functionality items and the way they circulated and have been preserved. The ebook argues that Greek lyric poems make the most of being learn as scripts for performances that either formed and have been formed via the social events during which they have been played. the result's an intensive and wide-ranging research of a fancy and interesting literary record that provides a fuller view of literature within the overdue classical age.

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Extra resources for Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts

Sample text

These men once upon a time lost their youth by gleaming Eurymedon contending with the champions of the bow-bearing Medes, warriors, both foot soldiers and on swift-faring ships; they left behind the finest memorial of aretê when they died. 5 Aristotle’s epigram too, although the deictic pronoun leading off the poem would seem to tie it to a stone, has undoubtedly had life apart from “this” monument, circulating in oral re-performance and making Persian perfidy resound among hearers who would never set eyes on the stone (as it continues to do this day).

In other words, we may underestimate the power of Aristotle’s rhetoric when we assume as realists that some actual monument, now lost, lies behind Diogenes’ quotation rather than crediting the poetic “this” of the verse with generating our belief in a stone on which the text was first inscribed. 6 In a book epigram the “Here lies . . 7 If occasion and context can powerfully affect the meaning given a poem, poetic language can do a good deal to determine the contexts and occasions we imagine for it as well—almost to the point of producing a stone out of thin air.

Postmodern reading holds further that reference in texts is not only inescapably intralinguistic but also endless, so that we create meaning only by arbitrarily breaking into this sign-tosign relay. It happens that our phrase can illustrate this point as well. 40-1 Colonna). A deconstructionist would be happy to accept this testimony that the one historical name in our poem, “Atarneus,” properly belongs not to the city but to its founder, and that it is only the linguistic process of metonymy, a process of transferring meaning, that fixes the word onto the physical place as its true His t o r y an d C o n t e x t 13 and “proper” name.

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