Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models

Studies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song, Vol. 4


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Genre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry foregrounds innovative approaches to the question of genre, what it means, and how to think about it for ancient Greek poetry and performance. Embracing multiple definitions of genre and lyric, the volume pushes beyond current dominant trends within the field of Classics to engage with a variety of other disciplines, theories, and models. Eleven papers by leading scholars of ancient Greek culture cover a wide range of media, from Sappho’s songs to elegiac inscriptions to classical tragedy. Collectively, they develop a more holistic understanding of the concept of lyric genre, its relevance to the study of ancient texts, and its relation to subsequent ideas about lyric.

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Margaret Foster is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Indiana University. Her work focuses on archaic and classical Greek poetry and cultural history. She is the author of The Seer and the City: Religion, Politics, and Colonial Ideology in Ancient Greece (University of California Press, 2018).
Leslie Kurke is Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses on Greek literature and cultural history; her most recent book (co-authored with Richard Neer) is Pindar, Song, and Space: Towards a Lyric Archaeology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
Naomi Weiss is the Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of the Humanities in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University. She has published widely on ancient Greek theater and performance culture, and is the author of The Music of Tragedy: Performance and Imagination in Euripidean Theater (University of California Press, 2018).

Contributors are: Seth Estrin, Andrew Ford, Margaret Foster, Mark Griffith, Gregory Nagy, Sarah Olsen, Timothy Power, Francesca Schironi, Deborah Steiner, Mario Telò, Naomi Weiss.
"This impressive volume comes from a conference held at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, and provides several excellent discussions of different approaches to genre in early Greek poetry (essentially from Homer to Euripides). The authors for the most part share a sense that we need to move away from the notion that occasions uncomplicatedly produce genres: we should not seek in or behind archaic and classical Greek song a pre-lapsarian, pre-literary generic system. Most stress that ‘purity’ of genre should not be sought or invoked, but they provide a variety of ways to reconfigure how we think of genre and how attention to genre can help us to read particular texts." - Richard Rawles, University of Edinburgh, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2020.10.26
Preface and Acknowledgments Note on Abbreviations, Texts, and Translations List of Figures and Tables Notes on Contributors
IntroductionMargaret Foster, Leslie Kurke and Naomi Weiss

Part 1 Keynote Address

1 Genre, Occasion, and Choral Mimesis Revisited, with Special Reference to the “Newest Sappho”Gregory Nagy

Part 2 Genre, Generification, and Performance

2 Linus: The Rise and Fall of Lyric GenresAndrew Ford
3 Sappho’s Parachoral MonodyTimothy Power
4 The Speaking Persona: Ancient Commentators on Choral PerformanceFrancesca Schironi

Part 3 Genre Mixing

5 Chorus Lines: Catalogues and Choruses in Archaic and Early Classical Greek Hexameter Poetry and Choral LyricDeborah Steiner
6 Generic Hybridity in Athenian TragedyNaomi Weiss
7 Athens and Apolline Polyphony in Bacchylides’ Ode 16Margaret Foster

Part 4 Affect, Materiality, and the Body: The Somatics of Genre

8 Is Korybantic Performance a (Lyric) Genre?Mark Griffith
9 Iambic Horror: Shivers and Brokenness in Archilochus and HipponaxMario Telò
10 Experiencing Elegy: Materiality and Visuality in the Ambracian PolyandrionSeth Estrin
11 Pindar, Paean 6: Genre as Embodied Cultural KnowledgeSarah Olsen
Bibliography Index Locorum General Index
Students and scholars across the Humanities who are concerned with questions of genre and the history of lyric, and anyone interested in ancient Greek poetry.
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