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Weaving Truth: Essays on Language and the Female in Greek Thought

Weaving Truth: Essays on Language and the Female in Greek Thought

by Ann BergrenAnn Bergren


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"What if truth were a woman?" asked Nietzsche. In ancient Greek thought, truth in language has a special relation to the female by virtue of her pre-eminent art-form—the one Freud believed was even invented by women—weaving. The essays in this book explore the implications of this nexus: language, the female, weaving, and the construction of truth.

The Homeric bard—male, to be sure—inherits from Indo-European culture the designation of his poetry as a weaving, the female's art. Like her tapestries, his "texts" can suspend, reverse, and re-order time. He can weave the content from one world into the interstices of another.

The male poet shares the ambiguous power of the female Muses whose speech he channels. "We can say false things like to real things, and whenever we wish, we can utter the truth."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674023727
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 12/15/2008
Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #19
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ann Bergren is Professor of Greek Literature, Literary Theory, and Contemporary Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface Introduction
1. Language and the Female in Early Greek Thought Weaving in Narrative: Textures of Space and Time
2. Helen's Web: Time and Tableau in the Iliad
3. Similes and Symbols in Odyssey v
4. Odyssean Temporality: Many (Re)Turns Weaving pseudea homoia etumoisin "false things like to real things"
5. Helen's "Good Drug"
6. Sacred Apostrophe: Re-Presentation and Imitation in Homeric Hymn to Apollo and Homeric Hymn to Hermes
7. Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite: Tradition and Rhetoric, Praise and Blame Weaving in Architecture: The Truth of Building
8. The (Re)Marriage of Penelope and Odysseus
9. Architecture, Gender, Philosophy
10. Female, Fetish, Urban Form Bibliography Index Index Locorum Index of Greek Terms

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