By Andrew Feldherr
This ebook bargains a singular interpretation of politics and id in Ovid's epic poem of modifications, the Metamorphoses. Reexamining the emphatically fictional personality of the poem, enjoying Gods argues that Ovid makes use of the matter of fiction within the textual content to redefine the ability of poetry in Augustan Rome. The publication additionally offers the fullest account but of ways the poem pertains to the diversity of cultural phenomena that outlined and projected Augustan authority, together with spectacle, theater, and the visible arts. Andrew Feldherr argues key to the political in addition to literary strength of the Metamorphoses is how it manipulates its readers' knowledge that its tales can't probably be real. via consistently juxtaposing the imaginary and the genuine, Ovid exhibits how a poem made of fictions can and can't gather the authority and presence of different discursive types. One vital method that the poem does this can be via narratives that create a "double imaginative and prescient" by means of casting characters as either legendary figures and enduring presences within the actual landscapes of its readers. This narrative equipment creates the type of tensions among id and distance that Augustan Romans could have felt whilst experiencing imperial spectacle and different modern cultural types. jam-packed with unique interpretations, taking part in Gods constructs a version for political readings of fiction that might be invaluable not just to classicists yet to literary theorists and cultural historians in different fields.
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Additional info for Playing Gods: Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction
The emphasis on permanence and preservation in Spahlinger’s formulation, even more apparent in the use Galinsky makes of it,44 also relies heavily on one particular reading of words with a wide range of meanings. If, for example, we stress that forms are turned into bodies, then other kinds of distinctions become relevant. Forma can also be used very much in the sense that we use form, to define a pattern or type that can exist in the mind independent of any physical manifestation. 29. 105. 45 Cic.
The problem of Io’s changed form offers more than a paradigm for how the reader can interpret the text of the Io story. His own understanding of Io’s form plays a crucial role in determining the reader’s response to the narrative itself: to focus on Io as cow opens up one possibility for reading; to be aware of her humanity, quite another. Put another way, as the reader enters into each level of narration—in this case by moving from an awareness of his role as reader of the Ovidian text to an interest in and acceptance of the perspective of Argus, he encounters another enigma that juxtaposes the same potentials for external wonder and sympathetic identification as the first.
See also Hardie 1999 for a discussion of metamorphosis as a way of commenting on the representational strategies of earlier epics. 24 25 Metamorphosis and Fiction • 29 again indicates a much more restricted canvas than Ovid’s universal history. The entirely lost Metamorphoses of Parthenius of Nicaea, a Greek poet brought to Rome as a slave and an important influence on the development of Roman poetics in the first century BCE, was probably an important influence in Romanizing this tradition. By contrast to its suitability to these catalog poems, the fabulous aspect of metamorphosis tales made them very difficult to reconcile with the aesthetic principles of serious epic, where supernatural solutions to human problems are pointedly avoided.