Topics in Greek or Roman Literature, History, and Culture
001 SEM
Days and Time: 
Th 2-4:59P
McCarthy, Kathleen
Course Description: 

“The Poetics of the Book”: Roman poets picked up the Hellenistic concept of a poetic collection (in which the poems functioned both as individual artistic products and as elements in the overall design of the book) and developed it in new directions.  In this seminar we will examine a few different threads of this development, paying special attention to the ways that the poems both support and contest the principles on which the collection is constructed.  In Vergil’s Eclogues and Horace’s Odes, we have carefully designed poetic collections which consist of poems that align themselves with the song tradition rather than with literacy.  In the cases of Catullus and Martial, the collections belie the individual poems’ implicit stance of occasionality and ephemerality.   While these four collections will form the core of our work, the seminar will be open to including other texts and authors (e.g., Ovid, Statius, Horace’s other collections).   Among our topics will be issues such as the self-conscious representation of oral and written media (song, conversation, inscriptions, letters, etc.), intratextuality and other ways of signaling links within the collection, depictions of performance and circulation.