Article

Intertextuality in Latin Poetry

Neil Coffee

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0113
Intertextuality in Latin Poetry

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The phenomenon of meaningful connections between texts, or “intertextuality,” has been defined and addressed differently over time. In pre-Alexandrian antiquity, discussion focused on large-scale influence of authors and literary works upon one another. Alexandrian scholarship introduced the study of small-scale verbal correspondences, which were generally regarded as acts of imitation (mimesis/imitatio) or rivalry (zelos/aemulatio). A continuous dialogue with Greek predecessors and culture of writing (rather than oral performance) contributed to a rich intertextual exchange among Roman poets. Modern theoretical studies have debated the ontological status of intertextual phenomena, particularly the extent to which they exist in the mind of the author, the text, or the mind of the reader. They have been concerned more narrowly with their classification by rhetorical function and language feature and more broadly with the workings of literary influence and inheritance. The ultimate interest lies in how intertexts create meaning; therefore, much intertextual study consists of works dedicated to comparisons of individual texts as well as those that employ intertextuality as one mode of criticism brought to bear on other topics.

Article.  6383 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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