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A historical investigation into Spinozism teaches us at least as much about the interpreters of Spinoza as it does about Spinoza’s thought itself. More than any other philosophy, Spinoza’s has been held up like a mirror to the great currents of thought, providing a particular perspective on them: one can see reflected and revealed in the mirror of Spinozism the inner and outer conflicts and contradictions of Calvinism, Cartesianism, freethinking and libertinism, the Enlightenment, materialism, the Pantheismusstreit, German Idealism, French spiritualism, Marxism, British Idealism, structuralism, and other movements. This chapter provides a condensed overview of the European reception of Spinoza from the seventeenth century until today, in both minor and major thinkers.
This article examines the fraught relationship between loss and poetic creation in Catullus 101 and in Anne Carson’s Nox. I argue that Catullus 101 performs a process of mourning through substitution, turning from absent brother to present poem. This process risks becoming an abandonment of his brother, and significant contradictions linger in the poem between the demands of mourning and of learned poetry. I then show how Anne Carson takes up these tensions in Nox while exploring philology and mourning as two related responses to loss. I argue that Carson practices an obsessive philology in Nox, whose unending project offers a model for an ongoing intimacy with her own lost brother. I conclude by returning to Catullus and demonstrating that in his poem, too, forms of literary erudition and intertextuality offer the mourner the possibility of significant and ongoing relationships across a gulf of absence.
Over the course of his career Horace shows a variety of ways of referring to the way that readers are reacting to his work. In the Satires and Epistles he regularly makes references to his reception, but in the Epodes and Odes—following archaic and classical Greek precedent—he never does. The chapter argues that the main reason for these choices is that Horace was simultaneously keen to be famous and appalled at the idea of his poetry being vulgarised by a mass audience.
The revived interest in the Roman past in tenth–twelfth century Byzantium led to a revived interest in ancient historical writings, and in particular Cassius Dios’ Roman History, the most comprehensive Greek narrative of the history of Rome. Whereas in earlier periods Dio was mainly referenced by grammarians and moralists, scholars of the tenth through twelfth centuries, who admired Dios’ classicizing prose and identified with his focus on emperors and dynasties, copied, excerpted and abridged his lengthy account. Notably, excerpts from the Roman History were included in the tenth-century Excerpta Constantiniana, a voluminous assemblage of excerpts from historians ranging from the fifth century BC to the ninth century AD commissioned by Constantine VII. An epitome of the Roman History was made by John Xiphilinus, probably for the education of the young Michael VII in the eleventh century, and the text was adapted by John Zonaras in his sophisticated world chronicle in the twelfth century. In addition to these major works, Dio was referenced and utilized by poets such as Theodosios the Deacon, scholars such as John Tzetzes, and educated laymen like Kekaumenos. All this indicates a familiarity with and esteem for Dio’s Roman History not only in court circles but also among the educated reading public.
As Richard Wright was establishing his career in the 1940s, he maintained profitable but uneasy relationships with white audiences, especially those approaching his works within the political liberalism that held sway over much of American culture in this period. While Wright’s works struck a powerful chord in redirecting American culture to acknowledge the costs of race-based exclusion, the extent of that change was only ever partial, and often depended on Wright’s narratives being disseminated and received along the lines of established, white cultural parameters. At the same time, the commercial and critical successes of Native Son and Black Boy established the foundation for Wright’s career, and his interactions with white writers, living and dead, provided influential models and connections. This essay explores this tension while situating Wright’s work and publishing history in relation to civil rights activism and cultural liberalism in the 1940s, and its (sometimes distorted) reflection in the images of Wright circulated by his publishers and the mainstream press, by tracing the paratextual materials attached to Wright’s books and the wide range of publication venues in which his stories and essays appeared.
This chapter assesses Wallace Stevens’s relationship and relevance to world literature under Pascale Casanova’s rubric of the “two orders,” political and aesthetic, that constitute the “world literary space.” Jenkins’s chapter argues that Stevens’s involvement in the global cultural marketplace and his defense of poetic autonomy, his projection of his poetry as a world in itself, are not incompatible but mutually constitutive of his complex relationship to world literature. The chapter explores Stevens’s orientalism and his reception, in translation, in contemporary Chinese poetry and in the Anglophone world poetries of Kashmiri American and Iranian American poets Agha Shahid Ali and Roger Sedarat. The chapter concludes with a consideration of Stevens’s significance, in translation, for contemporary Italian poets like Valerio Magrelli, and of his mixed reception in postwar British and Irish poetry.
This chapter explores the reception of classical ethical philosophy in the fourth-century Cappadocian Father, Gregory of Nazianzus, by focusing on the first of his five Theological Orations (Or. 27). An Athenian-trained rhetorician who became the most widely studied and imitated author in Byzantium, Gregory weaves together various strands from ancient ethical discourse in order to set out the moral and cultural prerequisites for performing theology. Gregory’s construction of the ideal theologian reflects late-antique discussions about the proper exegesis of texts, the moral character expected of teachers and students, and the policing of discourse. Finally, Gregory distinguishes the appropriate performance of theology from theology performed simpliciter through a set of qualifications that reflect a recognisably Aristotelian framework, one that can be traced back to the Nicomachean Ethics.
This chapter studies Anna May Wong’s active construction of her international star/celebrity status through “greetings” to the world. My goal is to understand how she mobilized such “greetings” to retool the film and media apparatus into an empowering relation-building vehicle. I argue that her relation-building stems from multi-registered audience address in her “greetings,” which elicit divergent responses depending on the viewers’ lingua-cultural knowledge and sociopolitical consciousness. I dwell on two categories of “greetings”: scriptural “greetings” as illustrated in her signature in gifted photos, in Piccadilly (dir. E. A. Dupont 1929) and in a lithographic visual map showing the European cities she performed in from 1933 to 1934; and performative “greetings” as seen in her reiterative dialect performances in Hollywood on Parade A-3 (June 5, 1932) and the “China Mary” episode of an ABC Western TV show, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (aired on March 15, 1960). Methodologically, I depart from simply tracing Wong’s empirical reception to develop strategies of taking cues from Wong’s “greetings” so as to reactivate and parse out her ability to speak to audiences of disparate stances across history. This alternative lineage of performer-spectator dynamic deconstructs the race-gender ideology underpinning mainstream film and media, and harbingers a more self-reflexive interstitial identitarian position.
This chapter seeks to provide an analysis of how norms of public international law were received into Thai legal system through the exploration of the Thai history beginning from early Rattanakosin era to present. Thailand, (formerly known as Siam), has long been involved in making international law since early Rattanakosin period. The first well-known treaty was a treaty of comity and commerce concluded in 1826 between Kingdom of Siam and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (Burney Treaty). Twenty nine years later, the 1855 Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between Siam and Great Britain (Bowring Treaty) was signed. With great impact that those two treaties had in the context of the Siamese, this chapter will analysis ways in which these two treaties have exerted its influenced on the its domestic legal culture. Given the fact that reception of international law into domestic legal system is largely a matter of constitutional law, Thai constitution remains silent about the issue of how customary international law can be incorporated as part of Thai law. However, the Thai domestic courts have ever dealt with this situation when they were asked to render the judgements concerning the doctrine of hot pursuit and the immunity from jurisdiction. This chapter will describe the approach that the courts employed in order to draw a conclusion of how customary international law is received into the Thai legal system.
Chapters 3 and 4 focus on “public memory.” Chapter 3 focuses on various patterns of literary memory in the 1980s and later and shows that the pattern of “good people but the bad event” became dominant. The variations and trend in the literary memory can be explained by the interplay of several factors: the dominant doxa of realism and unusual dynamics in the literary field in the 1980s, major authors’ habitus, the lower-class position of the returning zhiqing, and the state’s political use of the Maoist past.
Authored by an interdisciplinary team of experts, including historians, classicists, philosophers and theologians, this original collection of essays offers the first authoritative analysis of the multifaceted reception of Greek ethics in late antiquity and Byzantium (ca. 3rd-14th c.), opening up a hitherto under-explored topic in the history of Greek philosophy. The essays discuss the sophisticated ways in which moral themes and controversies from antiquity were reinvigorated and transformed by later authors to align with their philosophical and religious outlook in each period. Topics examined range from ethics and politics in Neoplatonism and ethos in the context of rhetorical theory and performance to textual exegesis on Aristotelian ethics. The volume will appeal to scholars and students in philosophy, classics, patristic theology, and those working on the history of education and the development of Greek ethics.
Why speak of ‘reception’ in classical antiquity, rather than ‘allusion’ or ‘intertextuality’? This chapter begins by assessing the reasons for the emergence of the term reception in the scholarship of the last thirty years, identifying (a) a shift away from unilateral models of ‘influence’; (b) a postmodern promotion of the status of the ‘copy’; (c) a pedagogical need for multiplication of access points into the ancient world. But the idea of ‘reception’ has been applied primarily to post-antique cultures: why? Speaking of reception helps us break down the idea that antiquity itself was sealed off from later cultures, and that it was a homogeneous monoculture through which a single, cohesive tradition ran. It puts the emphasis on discontinuity, and the specificity and idiosyncrasy of each act of receiving; such acts can therefore be understood as ‘theorisations’ of the idea of tradition. This approach to literary history creates an equivalence between all receptions, however apparently ‘central’ or ‘marginal’. It also spotlights the political embeddedness and materiality of each act of reception. The chapter closes by considering how the volume’s contributions further this agenda.
Within the last fifteen years there have been two additions to Sappho’s corpus (the Cologne fragment on old age, published in 2004, and the more recent Brothers and Cypris poems, published in 2014) both discovered in Greco-Roman Egypt. Notwithstanding this fact there is a general tendency to treat Egypt as idiosyncratic: useful when some aspect of a recovered text fits a scholar’s notion of Sappho’s poetic practice or ancient reception in the Archaic or Classical Period, but otherwise dismissed as irrelevant in taste and in patterns of survival. To test this assumption, I consider the survival of Sappho’s poetry from two perspectives: what ancient Greek sources outside of Graeco-Roman Egypt reveal about literate (as opposed to performative) reception of Sappho and how papyrus and parchment sources recovered from Egypt nuance that picture. My conclusion is that reception outside of and within Egypt is remarkably similar, that it is not possible to make a case for more than a specialized readership in either location, and that ancient readers read Sappho no more frequently than other lyric poets who do not, however, command the modern attention.
This chapter focuses on the Sufferings in Love, the mythological collection of racy stories by Parthenius of Nicaea. It proposes that Parthenius’ ‘little notebook’ was eminently ‘good to think with’ in the context of the various dance idioms evolving in first century BC Rome, particularly in the period of vigorous miscegenation and experimentation leading up to the flamboyant, official entrance of pantomime dancing into Roman public life. Although we are unlikely ever to know whether any performances wrought around the material assembled by Parthenius actually materialized in the twilight of the Roman Republic, the possibility should act as a warning against any uncritical assumption that stylish Hellenistic/ neoteric work and corporeal, performance dialects could not have much in common. The chapter uses the example of Parthenius’ putative afterlife ‘in the flesh’ to make a wider case about the need of writing the non-verbal, kinaesthetic, and thoroughly embodied medium that is the art of dance into the bigger narrative of reception in antiquity. ‘Reception into dance’ is neither inferior nor futile but immensely liberating, empowering, and potentially pathbreaking
When the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus compared the cosmos to a posset of barley, cheese and wine (kukeōn) whose ingredients separated if they were not stirred, he spawned other alimentary images for states of many-in-oneness, from variegated poetry to modern multicultural societies. This chapter explores the reception of Heraclitus’ image in later Greek and Latin literature. Plautus’ cook-figures and culinary neologisms have been read as analogues for the poet’s versatile reassembly of Greek culture, while an epic pun in Virgil’s Aeneid frames as “child’s play” a special moment in etymological, culinary and territorial history. In the pseudo-Virgilian Moretum, a peasant’s miniature cosmos takes shape, culminating in the production of a garlic- and herb-flavoured cheese whose many-in-oneness gave a motto to the United States of America (e pluribus unum). At Petronius’ Cena Trimalchionis, dishes based on verbal and visual puns reinforce the freedmen’s liminal identity. Culinary conglomerates have repeatedly transcended their ludic, extemporized contexts to serve the politics and aesthetics of diversity, from antiquity to modern times.
The surviving ‘Judaeo-Christian’ Sibylline Oracles, recomposed over several centuries from the late Hellenistic period onwards, offer an understudied example of overlap between didactic, oracular and universalising strands in ancient Homeric and Hesiodic receptions. This chapter makes a multifaceted case for viewing the Sibylline Oracles as latter-day ‘Hesiodic rhapsody’, whose blend of universal history and ethical exhortation is informed by supra-Homeric perspectives.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus discusses the Athenian funeral orations in his Antiquitates Romanae and his literary-critical essays. He takes a negative view of both the Athenian public funeral and of three specific examples of funeral orations –the Periclean epitaphios in Thucydides, Socrates’ speech in Plato’s Menexenus, and the funeral oration ascribed to Demosthenes (Dem. 60). The nature of his negative pronouncements suggests that his moral aversion to the orations, and to what the public funerals had represented, guided his aesthetic responses to the individual texts. While the encomiastic commonplaces on view in the funeral orations provide the blueprint for Dionysius’ idealised conception of Athens, the speeches themselves are vehicles unworthy of conveying those ideals. The case of the funeral oration offers a good illustration of how Dionysius’ classicism is inherently, recursively nostalgic and so ultimately chimerical. His idealised view of Athens is defined not by the funeral orations themselves, but by the valorisation of authors who made a project of berating their compatriots for failure to live up to the example, and exempla, of earlier generations.
Socrates presents particular challenges to reception studies for the obvious reason that he did not write anything and thus left no textual corpus for posterity to receive. It is instead his own body (corpus) that often becomes the focal point of reception. This chapter examines the reception of Socrates in the works of Isocrates. Unlike other Socratics who had direct access to Socrates and left careful portraits of the philosopher from a group of like-minded admirers, Isocrates offers an interesting insight into the way in which Socrates (both his physical presence and his turning into an imaginary model figure) was perceived to have shaped the cultural and philosophical landscape in Athens. Though sometimes also counted among Socrates’ admirers, this chapter argues that Isocrates’ works offer a fundamentally critical reflection on Socrates and his teacher role in Athens. This critical insight becomes a key motivation for Isocrates’ own work and there is indeed much at stake: according to Isocrates, Athens is need for a new teacher and philosopher figure (Isocrates himself) who would supplant the statuesque Socrates.
The panoramic reception of various literary genres in Aristophanic drama is discussed with reference to a specific play, Peace. Thematic and textual allusions to tragedy and earlier comedy are interwoven in connection to the central themes of this play: war and peace. The earlier part of the play, set in a world dominated by armed conflict, revolves around the parody of a quasi ‘trilogy’ of Euripidean tragedies (Aeolus, Stheneboea, and Bellerophontes) and contains further references to tragic passages or motifs of tragic dramaturgy. The latter part, which consists in the celebrations for the regained peace, parades a sequence of routines borrowed from rudimentary forms of comic entertainment, together with reminiscences of iambic poetry. The joys of peace are thus illustrated through a genealogy of the comic genre. The transition from the former to the latter world, through the pivotal scene of Peace’s liberation, is marked by a recast of the themes and stagecraft of satyr play. With its sequence of tragic trilogy, satyr play and assortment of comic materials, the Peace offers virtually the experience of a full festival of the Dionysia within the limits of a single dramatic script.
In this chapter, the reception of Greek tragedy in Hellenistic poetry is studied in connection with intertextuality, which is here considered a specific form of reception by which later authors recognize the importance and relevance of earlier texts by alluding to them. There is a particular focus on the fragmentary plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. It shows that Callimachus, Apollonius and Theocritus used many Greek plays that are now lost. They referred to the plays’ plots or subjects, with an apparent preference for plays with Trojan, Argonautic and Argive myths, but also alluded to striking tragic imagery. Issues to which the allusions draw attention include literary criticism, generic matters, aspects of the mythological tradition and Ptolemaic ideology. All this suggests that the Alexandrian poets were familiar with the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, particularly, but not exclusively those which were of thematic interest for their own poetry. Clearly the plays which were not included in the later canon of tragedies were still an object of active reception and consulted with eagerness in the Hellenistic period.