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

By Barry Sandywell | Go to book overview

5

PINDAR AND THE AGE OF LITERARY CONSCIOUSNESS

Prophesy (manteueo), Muse, and I will be your interpreter (prophateuso).

(Pindar, Fr. 150)

And I touch nothing with falsehood.

(Pindar, Nemean I.1)

1The life-world as a theatre of reflexive praxis
2The heroic ethic in reflexive mimesis
3Gods and Men
4Death and the Elysian Fields
5Death and the poetic Logos
6Conclusion: Pindar’s world

1 THE LIFE-WORLD AS A THEATRE OF REFLEXIVE PRAXIS

For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow.

(Job 8:9)

The work of the Theban poet Pindar presents us with something like a case study of the transition from the oral poetry of the latter part of the Archaic period to the crafted, complex compositions of the age of literary consciousness. Pindar’s life coincided with the decline of the traditional aristocracy and the spread of the democratic polis (c. 518-438 BC). He died at the very moment when the Greek enlightenment was in full flood and can be said to mark the end of the great experiment in lyrical expression. What follows is an exploration of the rhetorical preconditions for the Pindaric self and its role in defining some of the contours of Greek intellectual culture. I will try to show that the self-conscious ornamentation and aesthetic reflectiveness of his poetry trace some of the fundamental tensions and contradictions at work in the social and cultural changes experienced during the middle decades of the fifth century.

-250-

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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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