Pliny the Younger: Genetic and General Publics

Sean Alexander Gurd

in Work in Progress

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199837519
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919505 | DOI:

Series: American Philological Association American Classical Studies Series

Pliny the Younger: Genetic and General Publics

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Pliny's concern with literary process reflects the development of revision into a mechanism for producing texts directed toward an anonymous public of readers whom he did not know. I understand the development of this mechanism in terms of Michael Warner's important theory of publics, originally articulated in 2002 to describe modern discursive practices but, I feel, clearly applicable to Pliny's writing as well. I think Pliny innovates on this score, and the chapter therefore contains comparative material showing that earlier writers did not generate a public in Warner's sense.

Keywords: Pliny; revision; publics

Chapter.  10808 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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