Catullus in Verona: Reading of Elegiac Libellus, Poems 65-11 by MARILYN B. SKINNER


Gaius Valerius Catullus is one in all Rome's maximum surviving poets and in addition probably the most well known Latin authors. entire remedies of his paintings were hindered, in spite of the fact that, by way of the issues posed through the Catutllan assortment because it has come right down to us. even though many students now think that Catullus did put up his verse in a single or extra small volumes (libelli), the idea that those books have been rearranged after his demise signifies that person items stay learn and analyzed individually, irrespective of their placement in the assortment. Skinner demanding situations this conception of posthumous editorship by way of delivering a unified examining of Catullus' elegiac poetry (poems 65-116 in our assortment) and arguing that it constitutes what used to be a individually circulated libellus whose authorial association has been preserved intact. Purportedly issued from the poet's local urban, Verona, to his Roman readership, the quantity provides itself as a valedictory. This studying of the elegiac assortment represents a huge departure in Catullan stories. The methodological competition that Catullus' elegiac poems are greater approached as a unmarried cohesive poetic assertion makes this ebook a invaluable new contribution to Catullan scholarship.

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Extra info for Catullus in Verona: Reading of Elegiac Libellus, Poems 65-11

Example text

Thus, when Teucer is knocked down by Hector’s missile, Ajax rushes forward to save his brother’s life, bestriding his body and protecting him with his shield until the wounded man can be carried off “groaning deeply” (330–34). Now, one striking detail in the passage quoted above is Homer’s brief comparison of Teucer and Ajax to a small child and his vigilant mother, which imposes a curious hint of tenderness upon the ruthlessly efficient work of killing. In poem 68, at lines 23–24 and again at 95–96, the Catullan speaker recalls his brother’s support for his erotic and literary activities in terms reminiscent of Ajax’ benevolent protection of Teucer: omnia tecum una perierunt gaudia nostra, / quae tuus in vita dulcis alebat amor.

Accordingly, the reader who observes a textual conjunction and deduces its significance is indispensable to the entire undertaking. e. rather than occluding it) that one of the most persistent ways in which both Roman and modern readers construct the meaning of a poetic text is by attempting to construct from (and for) it an intention-bearing authorial voice, a construction which they generally hope or believe (in a belief which must always be partly misguided) to be a reconstruction; and the author thus (re)constructed is one who writes towards an implied reader who will attempt such a (re)construction.

To speak of universally applicable messages verified by deducing authorial intent may now lay commentators open to accusations of positivist naiveté. Yet the prospect of perpetually subjecting interpretive stances to scrutiny, thereby opening up an infinite methodological regress, is alarming, because in doing so we may inadvertently snuff out our most ardent motive for producing interpretations. Elucidation of obscurities that create anxiety by blocking affective or cognitive engagement with the text drives critical exegesis.

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