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Lyric Texts and Lyric Consciousness

The Birth of a Genre from Archaic Greece to Augustan Rome



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Lyric Texts and Lyric Consciousness by Paul Allen Miller
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Lyric Texts and Lyric Consciousness traces the organic development of the lyric form from archaic Greece to Augustan Rome. Professor Miller distinguishes between early Greek lyric, a largely oral phenomenon, and the more condensed personal poetry that we now think of as lyric. He then offers an original genre theory which meets the demands of contemporary literary theory. The book examines different forms of poetic subjectivity projected by ancient authors - such as Archilochus, Sappho, Catullus and Horace - through a close reading of both their texts and contexts. Prof Miller argues that what is considered lyric - a short personal poem which reveals a reflexive subjective consciousness - is only possible in a culture of writing. It is the lyric collection which creates literary consciousness as we know it. This consciousness also requires a social structure where individuals can speak in their own names, not merely in that of their state or class. It is necessary throughout to rethink what we mean by lyric, genre and subjectivity. The author, trained both as a classicist and a comparatist, and having published on lyric poetry from Sappho to Mallarm, is uniquely qualified to bring together these divergent perspectives.
Release date NZ
May 5th, 1994
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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