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Poetry as Performance

Poetry as Performance
Homer and Beyond

$46.99 (C)

  • Date Published: January 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521558488

$ 46.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book is a comparative study of oral poetics in literate cultures, focusing on the problems of textual fluidity in the transmission of Homeric poetry over half a millennium, from the Archaic through the Hellenistic periods of ancient Greece. It stresses the role of performance and the performer in the re-creative process of composition-in-performance. It addresses questions of authority and authorship in the making of oral poetry, and it examines the efforts of ancient scholars to edit a definitive text of the "real" Homer.

    • The author holds near-guru status, especially in the United States. His name should sell a very large number of copies
    • The book deals with epic, Homer, literacy and orality: all good topics
    • The book advances original theories about the composition and transmission of ancient works of literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this technical yet clear book, Nagy explores how the Homeric poems, stemming from an oral tradition that can be traced to the middle of the second millenium BCE, became the written texts of today....Rich in detail, knowledge and scope, Nagy's book (the culmination of years of work) offers a lucid, well-argued approach to these problems. It will interest not only specialists in ancient Greek poetry, but anyone concerned with oral traditions." P. Nieto, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521558488
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 217 x 138 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.321kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: a brief survey of concepts and aims
    Part I. Mimesis and the Making of Identity in Poetic Performance:
    1. The Homeric nightingale and the poetics of variation in the art of a troubadour
    2. Mimesis, models of singers, and the meaning of a Homeric epithet
    3. Mimesis in Homer and beyond
    4. Mimesis in lyric: Sappho's Aphrodite and the Changing Woman of the Apache
    Part II. Fixed Text in Theory, Shifting Words in Performance:
    5. Multiform epic and Aristarchus' quest for the real Homer
    6. Homer as script
    7. Homer as 'scripture'
    Epilogue: dead poets and recomposed performers

  • Author

    Gregory Nagy, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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