This book applies some of the procedures of modern critical theory (in particular reception-theory, deconstruction, theories of dialogue and the hermeneutics associated with the German philosopher Gadamer) to the interpretation of Latin poetry. Charles Martindale argues that we neither can nor should attempt to return to an 'original' meaning for ancient poems, free from later accretions and the processes of appropriation; more traditional approaches to literary enquiry conceal a metaphysics which has been put in question by various anti-foundationalist accounts of the nature of meaning and the relationship between language and what it describes. From this perspective the author examines different readings of the poetry of Virgil, Ovid, Horace and Lucan, in order to suggest alternative ways in which those texts might more profitably be read. Finally he focuses on a key term for such study 'translation' and examines the epistemological questions it raises and seeks to circumvent.
• One of the first batch of titles of new series designed to liven up Latin studies • Martindale is the editor of our Ovid Renewed: Ovidian Influences on Literature and Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century and Horace Made New: Horatian Influences on British Writing from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century
1. Five concepts in search of an author: suite; 2. Rereading Virgil: divertimento; 3. Rereading Ovid and Lucan: cadenzas; 4. Translation as rereading: symphony in three movements; Postscript: redeeming the text, or a lover's discourse.