The Face of Nature: Wit, Narrative, and Cosmic Origins in Ovid's Metamorphoses
Princeton University Press, 1997 - 238 sider
In these reflections on the mercurial qualities of style in Ovid's Meta-morphoses, Garth Tissol contends that stylistic features of the ever-shifting narrative surface, such as wordplay, narrative disruption, and the self-conscious reworking of the poetic tradition, are thematically significant. It is the style that makes the process of reading the work a changing, transformative experience, as it both embodies and reflects the poem's presentation of the world as defined by instability and flux. Tissol deftly illustrates that far from being merely ornamental, style is as much a site for interpretation as any other element of Ovid's art.
In the first chapter, Tissol argues that verbal wit and wordplay are closely linked to Ovidian metamorphoses. Wit challenges the ordinary conceptual categories of Ovid's readers, disturbing and extending the meanings and references of words. Thereby it contributes on the stylistic level to the readers' apprehension of flux. On a larger scale, parallel disturbances occur in the progress of narratives. In the second and third chapters, the author examines surprise and abrupt alteration of perspective as important features of narrative style. We experience reading as a transformative process not only in the characteristic indirection and unpredictability of Ovid's narrative but also in the memory of his predecessors. In the fourth chapter, Tissol shows how Ovid subsumes Vergil's Aeneid into the Metamorphoses in an especially rich allusive exploitation, one which contrasts Vergil's aetiological themes with those of his own work.
Originally published in 1997.
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Glittering Trifles Verbal Wit and Physical Transformation
Indecorous and Transformative Puns
Cephalus Procris and the Pun
The Pun Overheard
Irony and Metamorphic Wordplay Myrrha
Littera scripta manetOr Does It? Byblis
SelfCancelling and SelfObjectifying Witticisms
Propertiuss Tarpeia and Ovids Scylla
The Hecale in the Metamorphoses
Deeper Causes Actiology and Style
Ovids Little Aeneid
Aetiology and the Nature of Flux
G J Vossius on Syllepsis Oratoria
Wordplay Personification and Phantasia
Ceyx Alcyone and Morpheus
The House of Reception
The Asss Shadow Narrative Disruption and Its Consequences
Daedalus and Perdix
Cyclopean Violence and Narrative Disruption
Some Scandalous Passages
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