This ground-breaking volume connects the situatedness of genre in English poetry with developments in classical scholarship, exploring how an emphasis on the interaction between English literary criticism and Classics changes, sharpens, or perhaps even obstructs views on genre in English poetry. “Genre” has classical roots: both in the etymology of the word and in the history of genre criticism, which begins with Aristotle. In a similar vein, recent developments in genre studies have suggested that literary genres are not given or fixed entities, but subjective and unstable (as well as historically situated), and that the reception of genre by both writers and scholars feeds back into the way genre is articulated in specific literary works.
Classical scholarship, literary criticism, and genre form a triangle of key concepts for the volume, approached in different ways and with different productive results by contributors from across the disciplines of Classics and English literature. Covering topics from the establishment of genre in the Middle Ages to the invention of female epic and the epyllion, and bringing together the works of English poets from Milton to Tennyson to Josephine Balmer, the essays collected hereargue that the reception and criticism of classical texts play a crucial part in generic formation in English poetry.
About the Author
Silvio Bär is Professor of Ancient Greek Literature at the University of Oslo, Norway. His research interests encompass Greek epic and lyric poetry, Attic tragedy, the Second Sophistic, mythography, rhetoric, intertextuality, narratology, and the reception of ancient themes in English literature and popular culture.
Emily Hauser is a Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, UK. Her research interests include ancient women writers, gender and authorship in the classical world, and the reception of classical women by contemporary female authors. She has published on women writers in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the reception of the Odyssey in Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Contributors x
Introduction Silvio Bär Emily Hauser 1
1 Classical Pieces: Fragmenting Genres in Medieval England Amanda J. Gerber 13
2 'Poetry is a Speaking Picture': Framing a Poetics of Virtue in Late Elizabethan England Emma Buckley 30
3 A Revolutionary Vergil: James Harrington, Poetry and Political Performance Ariane Schwartz 51
4 The Devouring Maw: Complexities of Classical Genre in Milton's Paradise Lost Caroline Stark 66
5 Georgic as Genre: The Scholarly Reception of Vergil in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain Juan Christian Pellicer 79
6 Rhyme and Reason: The Homeric Translations of Dryden, Pope, and Morris Lilah Grace Canevaro 94
7 From Epic to Monologue: Tennyson and Homer Isobel Hurst 117
8 The Elizabethan Epyllion: From Constructed Classical Genre to Twentieth-Century Genre Propre Silvio Bär 138
9 'Homer Undone': Homeric Scholarship and the Invention of Female Epic Emily Hauser 151
10 Generic 'Transgressions' and the Personal Voice Fiona Cox 172
General Index 249
Index of Passages Cited 253