The Beginnings of European Theorizing--Reflexivity in the Archaic Age - Vol. 2

By Barry Sandywell | Go to book overview

4

LYRIC REFLEXIVITIES

The polis is the teacher of the man.

(Simonides, Fr. 95)

1The Genealogy of Individual Lyric Voices
2Choral Lyric: From Collective to Individual Forms of Self-Reflection
3From Choral Lyric to Monody: the Social Construction of the Individual Lyric Voice
4Conclusion: the ‘concept’ of Lyric Reflexivity

1 THE GENEALOGY OF INDIVIDUAL LYRIC VOICES

The lyric work hopes to attain universality through unrestrained individuation.

(Theodor W. Adorno, 1991:38)


A Boeotian winter

In certain respects Hesiod can be regarded as one of the first great lyrical poets in the Greek canon; not in terms of his chosen poetic form—in this he stood firmly within the epos tradition—but in the singularity of his personal vision of the nature of everyday events, objects and, above all, for the descriptive power and concreteness of some of the lyric passages scattered through the otherwise didactic Works and Days. From the perspective of a sociological poetics of Greek literary genres, the lyric form originated as a critical self-reflection on the Homeric art of the oral bards and the dominant choral traditions of Archaic Greece. As a reflexive product of a definite discursive field the emergence of the autonomous lyric voice already displays definite ‘metacritical’ characteristics; the lyric evocation of the first-person perspective, for example, implicitly negates the ritualism of primary myth and the collective ‘authorship’ of the epic to articulate a personalized vision of life. The lyric genre considered as a sociological form—indeed, as I will argue in this chapter, as a form of reflexive theorizing—discloses the discursive possibility of

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The Beginnings of European Theorizing--Reflexivity in the Archaic Age - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - Mythopoiesis 1
  • 2 - Homeric Epic Reflexivity 47
  • 3 - Hesiod and the Birth of the Gods 160
  • 4 - Lyric Reflexivities 206
  • 5 - Pindar and the Age of Literary Consciousness 250
  • 6 - Orphism 278
  • Notes 302
  • Bibliography 386
  • Name Index 411
  • Subject Index 415
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