By Stephen Halliwell
In addition to generating one of many most interesting of all poetic traditions, historic Greek tradition produced a huge culture of poetic concept and feedback. Halliwell's quantity bargains a chain of certain and hard interpretations of a few of the defining authors and texts within the heritage of old Greek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Gorgias's Helen, Isocrates' treatises, Philodemus' On Poems, and Longinus' at the Sublime.
The volume's primary quandary is with how the Greeks conceptualized the adventure of poetry and debated the values of that have. The book's organizing subject is a recurrent Greek dialectic among rules of poetry as, at the one hand, a powerfully spell binding event in its personal correct (a form of 'ecstasy') and, at the different, a medium for the expression of truths that can workout lasting effect on its audiences' perspectives of the area. mentioning a variety of sleek scholarship, and making common connections with later sessions of literary thought and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and acquired reviews in regards to the texts analysed. The ensuing viewpoint casts new gentle on ways that the Greeks tried to make experience of the psychology of poetic experience―including the jobs of emotion, ethics, mind's eye, and knowledge―in the lifetime of their culture.
Readership: students and scholars of Greek literature, Greek poetics, and literary conception and feedback.
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Extra info for Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus
Op. g. West 1966: 162, Rösler 1980: 295 n. g. Il. 438, Od. 645); cf. Krischer 1965: 172–3. 38 In addition to the direct patronage of the Muses at Theog. 96–103, note the correspondences between 22 and 8 (ŒÆºüò), 32 and 38, 104 and 8 (ƒìåæüåØò), as well as the implications of ŁÝóðØò (32) and the merging of Hesiod’s and the Muses’ song at 104–15. Setting the Scene 19 for us at this cultural distance. The Theogony may well be the oldest surviving Greek text to present the relationship between poetry and truth in explicitly problematic terms.
Tragic catharsis is best understood, I maintain, as the ‘beneﬁt’ accruing from the conversion of painful into pleasurable emotions within the contemplation (theôria) of mimetic simulations of reality. This reading allows catharsis to be harmonized with Aristotle’s moral psychology as a whole: emotional responsiveness to ‘aesthetic’ objects can contribute to the appropriate exercise of ethically attuned judgements. Catharsis—Aristotle’s reaction, in part, to older Greek beliefs about the soul-transforming powers of verbal and musical arts—is not just the end-result of watching a tragedy.
Chapter 7 concludes the project of this book by analysing how the author (‘Longinus’) of On the Sublime brings together certain traditions of both poetico-rhetorical criticism and philosophical metaphysics in such a way as to fuse the values of ‘ecstasy’ and ‘truth’ into a new paradigm of the mind’s responsiveness to creativity of thought and feeling in language. Much of Longinus’ emphasis is placed on sublimity as an overwhelming, even ‘coercive’, impact—an effect, as he puts it, reaching ‘beyond persuasion’.
Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus by Stephen Halliwell