In his article Voce voco. Ariadne in Ovids Heroides und die ‘weibliche Stimme’ (Mnemosyne, this issue), Christoph Pieper proposes a metapoetic interpretation of Ovid Heroides 10 in terms of a gradual awakening (and subsequent faltering) of Ariadne’s literary voice. The present contribution serves as a supplement to this article, in that it provides some text linguistic support for this metapoetic reading. In a linguistically and narratologically oriented discussion of the structure of Heroides 10, it is shown how epic and elegy literally merge in this poem, for instance by means of an ingenious mixing of discourse modes and time frames, and a subtle play with the inherent ambiguity of the present tense. The analysis reveals by which formal means the poet manages to reconcile all of Ariadne’s different roles and perspectives in the poem (epistolary speaker, epic speaker, elegiac speaker, narrative character), and integrate them, by way of literary experiment, in one coherent text.
AllanR.J.AllanR.J.BuijsM.Sense and Sentence Complexity. Sentence Structure, Sentence Connection, and Tense-Aspect as Indicators of Narrative Mode in Thucydides’ HistoriesThe Language of Literature. Linguistic Approaches to Classical Texts2007Leiden93121
AllanR.J.BakkerS.J.WakkerG.C.Towards a Typology of the Narrative Modes in Ancient Greek: Text Types and Narrative Structure in Euripidean Messenger SpeechesDiscourse Cohesion in Ancient Greek2009Leiden/Boston171199
Adema2008, 83-4. Adema counts 51 instances of an imperfect verb form with a ‘framing’ function in the Aeneid.
To use the terminology of Chafe (1994), the immediate narrative mode is replaced by a displaced narrative mode.
Cf. Knox1995, 238: “O.’s Ariadne is a convincing narrator who explains why she is able to see at this hour”. In terms of the ‘discourse modes’ used, we could say that with luna fuit the narrative (or diegetic) discourse mode is temporarily replaced by the discursive mode. For the difference between narrative mode and discursive mode, see below. The Latin perfect tense may occur in both modes. In order to distinguish between both uses, the former use of the perfect is sometimes referred to as the ‘narrative perfect’, the latter as the ‘authorial perfect’.
Cf. Kroon & Risselada2004, on the basis of Chausserie-Laprée 1969, 497-517. We also find the imperfect tense in this technique.