Horace in Dialogue
Bakhtinian Readings in the Satires
Year of Publication: 2010
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. XII, 347 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-946-2 pb. (Softcover)
Weight: 0.500 kg, 1.102 lbs
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Horace's Satires have a distinctly dialogic quality - not for nothing does Horace himself choose to call these poems sermones, 'conversations'. Even when formally presented as monologues, the Satires seem to be speeches actively addressed to their recipients, cognisant of their audiences, and full of the 'voices' of others. This book applies theories on dialogue by the twentieth-century Russian thinker Mikhail Bakhtin to Horace's Satires. Bakhtinian key concepts such as polyphony, heteroglossia, addressivity and authoritative discourse are investigated and found to be useful in understanding Horace's work.
Far from getting bogged down in theory, however, this is a book which uses some of Bakhtin's ideas to tease out fresh insights into Horace's Satires. The author reads Horace's poems as 'little dramas' - interactions between speakers, interlocutors, addressees, and audiences. What is Horace's real motive for lecturing on miserly greed in his first satire? Who is the modern Hollywood star whom Horace most closely resembled? What is Horace doing while Damasippus rattles on, recounting the words of his guru Stertinius, in Satires 2.3? The answers to these and other questions are suggested in this book.
Contents: The moralising satires of Horace - The problematic concept of the 'diatribe' - Theories of monologue and dialogue - Bakhtin's concept of dialogue and dialogism - Bakhtin's concept of polyphony - Bakhtin's concept of heteroglossia - The dialogic nature of Horace's Satires Book One - Horace's satiric persona - Bakhtin's concept of 'addressivity' - Reading satires as 'little dramas' or interactions between speakers, interlocutors, addressees, and audiences - Inversions and reversals in the moralising satires of Book Two - Other voices as sources: heteroglossia and Horace's satires - Other voices on Horace: polyphony and the moralising satires of Book Two - Bakhtin's concepts of 'authoritative discourse' and 'internally persuasive discourse' - Bakhtin's concept of the Carnivalesque and Horace's Saturnalian satires.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Suzanne Sharland studied Classics at the University of Cape Town, where she received her doctorate in 2001. She has taught Classics at a number of universities in South Africa. She currently is Senior Lecturer in the Classics Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban).
«A book-length guide to aid Bakhtinian interpretations of Horace's 'Satires' was needed indeed, and with this work (...) Sharland has ably filled the gap.» (Ian Goh, Bryn Mawr Classical Review)