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Out of Line: Homeric Composition Beyond the Hexameter

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Building upon the groundbreaking work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, Out of Line presents a new theory of Homeric composition, focusing upon patterns that extend beyond the boundary of the line and the clause. Matthew Clark takes enjambment as a starting point, analyzing the techniques used by the poet to complete a line that begins with a runover. Clark proceeds to propose two levels of analysis, a "deep-structure" level, which describes the associations of words and ideas before they take metrical form, and a...

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Overview

Building upon the groundbreaking work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, Out of Line presents a new theory of Homeric composition, focusing upon patterns that extend beyond the boundary of the line and the clause. Matthew Clark takes enjambment as a starting point, analyzing the techniques used by the poet to complete a line that begins with a runover. Clark proceeds to propose two levels of analysis, a "deep-structure" level, which describes the associations of words and ideas before they take metrical form, and a "surface-structure" level, which describes the words as they are employed on any particular occasion. Out of Line combines formulaic and metrical analysis, expanding the study of Homeric meter both in practice, by taking into account larger compositional structures such as entire scenes, and in theory, by using the results to test models of formulaic composition. This book is important for students and scholars of Homer, epic, and oral literature.

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Editorial Reviews

The Joint Association Of Classical Teachers
What Clark does is to look closely at the compositional technique the poet developed for handling enjambement, and he distinguishes a number of categories.
— Peter Jones
Classical Review
C. has made a useful, and agreeably written, contribution to our yet incomplete understanding.
— J.B. Hainsworth, New College, Oxford
Phoenix
...clearly written book...
Classical World
Out of Line is well argued.
The Joint Association Of Classical Teachers - Peter Jones
What Clark does is to look closely at the compositional technique the poet developed for handling enjambement, and he distinguishes a number of categories.
Classical Review - J.B. Hainsworth
C. has made a useful, and agreeably written, contribution to our yet incomplete understanding.
Religious Studies Review, Vol. 25 No. 1 - S. Douglas Olson
. . . generally successful.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Matthew Clark is Assistant Professor in the Division of Humanities at York University. His scholarly articles have appeared in Phoenix; he is also the author of numerous works of fiction and verse.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
A Note to the Reader
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Definitions 21
Whole-Line Formulas and Enjambment in Oral Poetry 21
Embedded Runovers 30
Orphan Runovers 35
Free and Pendant Runovers 40
Typology and Runovers 42
Enjambment and Statistics 50
Ch. 2 Modifications 53
Lexical Triggers and Semantic Triggers 53
Variable Links in a Chain of Formulas 62
A Formulaic Construction for Finding Someone 69
Ch. 3 Free Runovers 79
Formulaic Construction 79
Semantic Motivation 86
Metrical/Grammatical Schemes 92
Ch. 4 Anticipations 107
The Bucolic Anticipation Defined 107
Embedded Bucolic Anticipations 117
Pendant Bucolic Anticipations 122
Orphan Bucolic Anticipations 128
Particle Systems in Bucolic Anticipations 132
Other Anticipations 146
Skewed Clauses 149
Ch. 5 Larger Constructions 159
Composition with Large Formula Chains 159
Runovers and Anticipations as Hooks 169
Composition with Small Formula Chains 180
The Composition of Larger Passages 189
Ch. 6 Repetition 213
Significant and Nonsignificant Repetition 213
Repetition and Text 230
Appendix Problems of Translation 239
Bibliography 249
Index of Passages 255
General Index 263
About the Author 265
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