New PDF release: Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics


By Stephen Halliwell

In addition to generating one of many most interesting of all poetic traditions, historical Greek tradition produced an important culture of poetic concept and feedback. Halliwell's quantity bargains a chain of certain and not easy interpretations of a few of the defining authors and texts within the historical past of old 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 drawback is with how the Greeks conceptualized the event of poetry and debated the values of that have. The book's organizing topic is a recurrent Greek dialectic among principles of poetry as, at the one hand, a powerfully enchanting event in its personal correct (a form of 'ecstasy') and, at the different, a medium for the expression of truths which could workout lasting impact on its audiences' perspectives of the area. bringing up a variety of smooth scholarship, and making common connections with later classes of literary concept and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and obtained reviews concerning the texts analysed. The ensuing point of view 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 resources for Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus

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This stands as Plato’s great dilemma, his great unanswered question, about the value of poetry and the possibilities of poetics. Chapter 5 reconsiders some fundamental aspects of Aristotle’s conception of poetry, a conception which can be regarded as designed partly to satisfy, partly to reconfigure, Plato’s requirements for a philosophical poetics. My reading focuses principally on the way in which Aristotle combines cognition and emotion in his model of poetic experience. This model, I argue, incorporates a kind of ‘emotional understanding’: understanding filtered through the evaluative responses embodied in emotions.

G. 78 (‘the entire poetics of the Iliad’), 82 (‘the poetics of the Odyssey, a poetics of disguise’) effectively equates ‘poetics’ with ‘thematics’, as many critics now do; at pp. x–xi he moves closer to how the poems ‘speak about the function of the poetry they recycle [sic]’. Finkelberg 1998: 131–50 thinks the Homeric ‘poetics of truth’ partly at odds with the poems’ own practices. Is there a Poetics in Homer? 41 The problem of Homeric poetics is certainly not factitious. It is generated by the inbuilt poetic (not ‘authorial’) self-consciousness of the works themselves, a self-consciousness that ranges from invocations to the Muse(s), via the monumental narrative ambitiousness of the Iliad and Odyssey, to vivid depictions of a song culture within the epic world itself.

2–7 West (2003a); cf. Pratt (1993: 24–30), with Griffith (1990: 196–200) on rival accounts of myths more generally. , cf. Ch. 2, 63–7, with n. 60 there for Hellenistic variations on this theme. 35 Cf. the god-like life of feasting (with, implicitly, song) in the Golden Age, free from all misery and suffering, at Hes. Op. 111–15. 36 They are themselves totally carefree in spirit (61, in contrast to the human state at 55 and 98–103) and give intense pleasure even to the mind of Zeus himself (37, 51).

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