Late Antique Poetry and Poetics

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Late antique poetry and poetics

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Date limite : 15 décembre 2010

Twenty years ago in The Jeweled Style: Poetry and Poetics in Late Antiquity, Michael Roberts offered a novel approach to late antique poetry and poetics. Building on the work of European scholars such as Jacques Fontaine, Roberts departed from the "unexamined classicism" still prevalent in negative analyses of late antique poetry, particularly in the English speaking world. His stated intent in the volume was to "propose a new focus of attention, a different manner of reading, for the classically oriented student of late antiquityŠ and to formulate this poetics in such a way that the poetry stands a chance of receiving the same kind of sympathetic appreciation that has long been accorded late antique art."(p.5) The "jeweled style" he identifies ­ a culture-wide aesthetic identifiable in works of art and other written forms, not just poetry ­ is based on authors' understanding of their approach to be similar to that of a jeweler: it requires manipulation and careful placement of small and brilliant verbal gems and jewels. To properly appreciate and comprehend the poetics, one must be attentive to the high value placed on variatio by poets of the period.

A wider movement reconsidering late antique poetry and poetics is now underway, multiplying the efforts of scholars who consistently over the last few decades have drawn attention to late antique poetry. This expansion of interest has been facilitated, in part, by the recent appearance of critical editions and/or translations of works of, for example, Synesius of Cyrene, Gregory of Nazianzus, Ausonius, Paulinus of Nola, and Fortunatus.

Furthermore, given recent literary critical and philological work, we now seem better situated to reconsider and expand upon the basic premises of Roberts' book: namely, are there identifiable stylistic norms that transcend the multitude of poetic forms and span both Latin and Greek poetry of the fourth to sixth centuries?

The Society for Late Antiquity invites submissions of abstracts offering new approaches to late antique poetry and poetics that will facilitate our consideration of the above question. Other questions one might consider are:

What is the relationship between late antique and Classical poetics and how is it manifested? How is function, liturgical or other, related to poetic form? How might consideration of late antique poetics inform discussions of genre theory (for example) or vice versa? Papers either addressing the poetic projects of individual authors or treating various poets thematically are welcome, as are theoretical approaches. One-page abstracts of papers (ca. 500 words) requiring a maximum of 20 minutes to deliver should be sent no later than February 1, 2009 via either email attachment to Suzanne Abrams Rebillard ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ) or by surface mail (Suzanne Abrams Rebillard, Department of Classics, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3201). Please follow the instructions for the format of individual abstracts in the APA Program Guide. All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees.


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