By Andrew L. Ford
Aristotle is mostly a thinker and as a theorist of poetry, yet he was once additionally a composer of songs and verse. this can be the 1st accomplished learn of Aristotle's poetic task, analyzing his final fragments in terms of the sooner poetic culture and to the literary tradition of his time. Its centerpiece is a research of the one whole ode to outlive, a tune commemorating Hermias of Atarneus, Aristotle's better half's father and buyer within the 340's BCE. This awesome textual content is related to have embroiled the thinker in fees of impiety and so is studied either from a literary point of view and in its political and spiritual contexts.Aristotle's literary antecedents are studied with an unparalleled fullness that considers the complete variety of Greek poetic kinds, together with poems by means of Sappho, Pindar, and Sophocles, and prose texts besides. except its curiosity as a posh and sophisticated poem, the track for Hermias is noteworthy as one of many first Greek lyrics for which we've got large and early facts for a way and the place it was once composed, played, and got. It therefore gives a chance to reconstruct how Greek lyric texts functioned as functionality items and the way they circulated and have been preserved. The e-book argues that Greek lyric poems cash in on being learn as scripts for performances that either formed and have been formed via the social events within which they have been played. the result's an intensive and wide-ranging learn of a posh and engaging literary rfile that provides a fuller view of literature within the past due classical age.
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Extra info for Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts
Postmodern reading holds further that reference in texts is not only inescapably intralinguistic but also endless, so that we create meaning only by arbitrarily breaking into this sign-tosign relay. It happens that our phrase can illustrate this point as well. 40-1 Colonna). A deconstructionist would be happy to accept this testimony that the one historical name in our poem, “Atarneus,” properly belongs not to the city but to its founder, and that it is only the linguistic process of metonymy, a process of transferring meaning, that ﬁxes the word onto the physical place as its true His t o r y an d C o n t e x t 13 and “proper” name.
19 All we can say for sure is that Hermias’s “companions” must be seen as a piece of acceptable self-representation by the ruling power. The inscription itself (lines 32–33) directs that a copy be put on display in both cities; Hermias will set up his copy in the sanctuary (hieron) of Atarneus, the founding hero of the city (Himerius, op. ). The placement of the stone in itself asserts the legitimacy of the autocrat. The texts about Hermias that we have, then, can be divided into two main camps.
Chapter 3 Performance and Occasion Having noticed some early documents from Hermias’s career, we turn to the poetry his death elicited. I begin not with Aristotle’s song but with a short epigram he composed in Hermias’s memory and an epigram responding to this by a contemporary poet, Theocritus of Chios. To take up these poems, however, is not to move at last from talking about historical context to texts, for these texts propose contexts and occasions for their own performance that we must take into account in interpreting them.
Aristotle as Poet: The Song for Hermias and Its Contexts by Andrew L. Ford