The Poetry of Criticism: Horace, Epistles II, and Ars Poetica

The Poetry of Criticism: Horace, Epistles II, and Ars Poetica

The Poetry of Criticism: Horace, Epistles II, and Ars Poetica

The Poetry of Criticism: Horace, Epistles II, and Ars Poetica

Synopsis

Ross Kilpatrick discusses how the three epistles are related, what the roles of the three addressees are, how the themes and views expressed relate to them, and whether there is in the Ars Poetica a single unifying theme.

Excerpt

The ars poetica, or the Epistle to the Pisos, is Horace longest poem by far: 476 lines. the Epistle to Augustus (270) and Epistle to Florus (216) both fall short of the lengthy Satire 2.3 (326), but are still long poems by Horace's standards. This makes a total of 962. lines or about the length of the Aeneid's longer books: a convenient length for a papyrus scroll.

The critical bibliography on these three poems is enormous. There are 23 pages of titles overall in Charles Brink three volumes of Horace on Poetry (1963, 1971, 1982), which he describes as "selective." the survey by Walter Kissel of Heidelberg, Horaz 1936-1975: Eine Gesamtbibliographie, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt ii, 31.3 (1981), 1403-1558, includes eight pages of titles on Epistles ii (1521-28). the same volume also includes a new critical survey by Francesco Sbordone, "La poetica oraziana alla luce degli studi più ecenti" (1866-1920). Nor is interest waning in the probable sources of Horace's views on poetic criticism; see, for example, H. J. Mette, Neoptolemus von Parion, rm cxiii (1980), 1-24. Kissel prints two pages of bibliographies alone (1411-12). Representative of earlier surveys are A. Viola's two volumes, L'Arte Poetica di Orazio nella Critica Italiana e Straniera (Napoli, 1901, 1906).

The appearance of Brink third and final volume of Horace on Poetry . . .

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