Download Poetics before Plato: Interpretation and Authority in Early by Grace M. Ledbetter PDF

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By Grace M. Ledbetter

Combining literary and philosophical research, this research defends an completely cutting edge analyzing of the early historical past of poetics. it's the first to argue that there's a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the 1st to attach the Socratic view of poetry with past literary tradition.

Literary idea is generally stated firstly Plato's well-known critique of poetry within the Republic. Grace Ledbetter demanding situations this entrenched assumption through arguing that Plato's past dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology introduce a distinctively Socratic concept of poetry that responds polemically to conventional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the assets of this Socratic reaction by means of introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit within the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. interpreting those poets' theories from a brand new perspective that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political goals, she demonstrates their decisive impression on Socratic brooding about poetry.

The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses no longer on censorship, yet at the interpretation of poetry as a resource of ethical knowledge. This philosophical method of reading poetry stands at odds with the poets' personal theories--and with the Sophists' therapy of poetry. not like the Republic's specialize in exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and necessarily corrupting effect, Socrates' idea comprises poetry as material for philosophical inquiry inside an tested life.

Reaching again into what has too lengthy been thought of literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that may redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists take into consideration Plato's poetics.

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125 –28. Cf. Austin 1994, pp. 37–41. 57 De Rachewiltz 1987, p. 23, notes that “sight is almost banished from this episode . . even distances are given in auditory terms—‘But when we were as far from the land as a voice shouting carries’ (12. 181–182), and further on ‘. . when we could no longer hear their voices and lost the sound of their singing . . ’ (12. 197– 98). Though the Sirens see the ship, Odysseus does not mention seeing them at any point. ” For visual representations of the Sirens, see T.

In one of his roles as a master of disguise, Odysseus ultimately emerges in contrast to the truly inspired Homeric bard. Unlike the inspired bard whose connection to the divine guarantees his poetry’s veracity, Odysseus’s great powers of representation carry no such assurance. Comparisons of Odysseus with the poet, then, focus on displaying Odysseus’s multifaceted character. They contribute to a Homeric theory of the poet only by way of contrast. Although the Sirens’ fatal treachery may at first discourage our taking this episode to model Homeric poetics, these features actually lure the reader with an enchanting model of poetic experience, and contribute to making the theory all the more bold and enticing.

149–52. See Goldhill 1991, p. 67. 74 See Segal 1988, pp. 138 – 39. SUPERNATURAL KNOWLEDGE IN HOMERIC POETICS 33 to the supernatural, Odysseus lacks at least one credential essential for a Homeric poet. 75 Still, the comparisons of Odysseus to the poet retain full significance, because the poet is of course among the roles Odysseus portrays. As the man who is polutropos, Odysseus enacts a seemingly universal array of experiences,76 and outstanding among his leading roles is his portrayal of the poet.

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