Discourse <i>Ex Nihilo</i>: Epicurus and Lucretius in Sixteenth-Century England

Adam Rzepka

in Dynamic Reading

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199794959
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949694 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Discourse Ex Nihilo: Epicurus and Lucretius in Sixteenth-Century England

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Exploring the limitations of current scholarly discourse on the presence of Lucretius in literature of Elizabethan England, Adam Rzepka, in his paper “Discourse ex nihilo: Epicurus and Lucretius in sixteenth-century England,” confronts the notion that the De Rerum Natura figures the poetics of its own subsequent transmission. Drawing upon Michel Serres and Jacques Lezra, who have both used Lucretian terms (swerve, eventum [“accident”]) to figure discourse, he urges the need for a more mobile, complex model of discursive interaction during the Elizabethan period, which heretofore has presented Lucretian influence as a sudden, ex nihilo (and therefore highly un-Lucretian) occurrence.

Keywords: Elizabethan England; Epicurus Lucretius; reception history; Shakespeare; Michel Serres

Chapter.  8005 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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