The Politics of Desire: Propertius IV

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University of California Press, 13 dic 2000 - 255 pagine
Propertius (ca. 54 b.c.--ca. 2 b.c.) was a Roman poet who composed four compelling books of elegies in the chaotic years surrounding Rome's transition from republic to empire. The first three of these books revolve mostly around a tormented love affair with a woman called Cynthia. The fourth book of poetry rests on more diverse subject matter and is notoriously the most opaque and elusive. In The Politics of Desire, Micaela Janan radically reassesses Propertius' last elegies, using contemporary psychoanalytic theory to illuminate these challenging texts.

Janan finds that the upheaval of Rome's transformation to empire corresponds to the intellectually unsettled conditions of our own time, so that contemporary methodologies offer an uncannily suitable approach for understanding Propertius. In particular, she uses the work of Jacques Lacan, since it provides the best conceptual tools for examining the relation between political crisis and the struggles of the self, a theme that resonates in these difficult elegies.

This book expands our understanding of an important Roman poet, and its innovative and sophisticated methodological approach makes a substantial contribution to feminist and psychoanalytic criticism. In addition, Janan addresses elegy's relationship to larger cultural questions, and broadens our understanding of the social crisis affecting Rome during the early empire.

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Theoretical Preliminaries
Shadow of a Doubt Framing the Subject in the Gallus Poems
The Ethics of Evil Arethusa to Lycotas 43
Beyond Good and Evil Tarpeia and Philosophy in the Feminine 44
The Return of the Dead The Acanthis Elegy 45
The Book of Revelation Cynthias Truth 47
Cynthia Returns from Lanuvium 48
Hercules in Rome 49
The Phenomenology of the Spirits 411
Dreaming Rome

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Pagina 146 - Who gathers all things mortal With cold immortal hands; Her languid lips are sweeter Than love's who fears to greet her To men that mix and meet her From many times and lands. She waits for each and other, She waits for all men born; Forgets the earth her mother, The life of fruits and corn; And spring and seed and swallow Take wing for her and follow Where summer song rings hollow And flowers are put to scorn.
Pagina 53 - L.Et me powre forth My teares before thy face, whil'st I stay here, For thy face coines them, and thy stampe they beare, And by this Mintage they are something worth, For thus they bee Pregnant of thee ; Fruits of much griefe they are, emblemes of more, When a teare falls, that thou falst which it bore, So thou and I are nothing then, when on a divers shore.
Pagina 56 - Furi et Aureli, comites Catulli, sive in extremos penetrabit Indos, litus ut longe resonante Eoa tunditur unda, sive in Hyrcanos Arabasve molles seu Sagas sagittiferosve Parthos, sive quae septemgeminus colorat aequora Nilus, sive trans altas gradietur Alpes, Caesaris visens monimenta magni, Gallicum Rhenum, horribile aequor ultimosque Britannos, omnia haec, quaecumque feret voluntas caelitum, temptare simul...
Pagina 53 - On a round ball A workman that hath copies by, can lay An Europe, Afrique, and an Asia, And quickly make that, which was nothing, All, So doth each tear Which thee doth wear, A globe, yea world by that impression grow, Till thy tears mixed with mine do overflow This world, by waters sent from thee, my heaven dissolved so.
Pagina 38 - Martis in armis tela inter media atque adversos detinet hostis : 45 tu procul a patria (nee sit mihi credere tantum) Alpinas a ! dura, nives et frigora Rheni me sine sola vides. a ! te ne frigora laedant ! a ! tibi ne teneras glacies secet aspera plantas ! Ibo et Chalcidico quae sunt mihi condita versu 50 carmina pastoris Siculi modulabor avena.
Pagina 186 - Imperium patiuntur. sed haec et his similia, utcumque animadversa aut existimata erunt, haud in magno equidem 9 ponam discrimine : ad illa mihi pro se quisque acriter intendat animum, quae vita, qui mores fuerint, per quos viros quibusque artibus domi militiaeque et partum et auctum Imperium sit...
Pagina 100 - This living hand, now warm and capable Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold And in the icy silence of the tomb, So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood So in my veins red life might stream again, And thou be conscience-calm'd — see here it is — I hold it towards you.
Pagina 65 - Araxes, (35) quot sine aqua Parthus milia currat equus, cogor et e tabula pictos ediscere mundos, qualis et haec docti sit positura dei, quae tellus sit lenta gelu, quae putris ab aestu, 35 ventus in Italiam qui bene vela ferat.
Pagina 50 - Qualis et unde genus, qui sint mihi, Tulle, Penates, Quaeris pro nostra semper amicitia. Si Perusina tibi patriae sunt nota sepulcra, Italiae duris funera temporibus, Cum Romana suos egit discordia cives...
Pagina 33 - The evening and night winds here were, to Pierston's mind, charged with a something that did not burden them elsewhere. They brought it up from that sinister bay to the west, whose movement she and he were hearing now. It was a presence — an imaginary shape or essence from the human multitude lying below: those who had gone down in vessels of war...

Informazioni sull'autore (2000)

Micaela Janan is Associate Professor of Classics at Duke University. She is the author of When the Lamp Is Shattered: Desire and Narrative in Catullus (1994).

Informazioni bibliografiche