Between Ecstasy and Truth: Interpretations of Greek Poetics from Homer to Longinus

Paperback | August 9, 2015

byStephen Halliwell

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As well as producing one of the finest of all poetic traditions, ancient Greek culture produced a major tradition of poetic theory and criticism. Halliwell's volume offers a series of detailed and challenging interpretations of some of the defining authors and texts in the history of ancientGreek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Gorgias's Helen, Isocrates' treatises, Philodemus' On Poems, and Longinus' On the Sublime.The volume's fundamental concern is with how the Greeks conceptualized the experience of poetry and debated the values of that experience. The book's organizing theme is a recurrent Greek dialectic between ideas of poetry as, on the one hand, a powerfully enthralling experience in its own right (akind of 'ecstasy') and, on the other, a medium for the expression of truths which can exercise lasting influence on its audiences' views of the world. Citing a wide range of modern scholarship, and making frequent connections with later periods of literary theory and aesthetics, Halliwell questionsmany orthodoxies and received opinions about the texts analysed. The resulting perspective casts new light on ways in which the Greeks attempted to make sense of the psychology of poetic experienceand#x2014;including the roles of emotion, ethics, imagination, and knowledge in the life of theirculture. Readership: Scholars and students of Greek literature, Greek poetics, and literary theory and criticism.

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As well as producing one of the finest of all poetic traditions, ancient Greek culture produced a major tradition of poetic theory and criticism. Halliwell's volume offers a series of detailed and challenging interpretations of some of the defining authors and texts in the history of ancientGreek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophane...

Stephen Halliwell is Professor of Greek at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He taught previously at the universities of Oxford, London, Cambridge, and Birmingham, and has held visiting professorships in Belgium, Canada, Italy, and the USA. He has published extensively on Greek literature, philosophy, and culture, as well as on ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.68 inPublished:August 9, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198707010

ISBN - 13:9780198707011

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Table of Contents

PrefaceNote to the reader1. Setting the Scene: Questions of Poetic Value in Greek Culture2. Is there a Poetics in Homer?3. Aristophanes' Frogs and the Failure of Criticism4. To Banish or not to Banish? Plato's Unanswered Question about Poetry5. Aristotle and the Experience of Tragic Emotion6. Poetry in the Light of Prose: Gorgias, Isocrates, Philodemus7. The Mind's Infinity: Longinus and the Psychology of the SublimeBibliographyIndex locorumIndex of Greek TermsGeneral Index

Editorial Reviews

"[a]n engaging study of the interplay between Greek views of poetry as a source of ecstasy and as a medium for truth and human values." --S. E. Goins, CHOICE