Written Voices, Spoken Signs: Tradition, Performance, and the Epic Text

Written Voices, Spoken Signs: Tradition, Performance, and the Epic Text

by Egbert J. BAKKER, Ahuvia Kahane

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Written Voices, Spoken Signs is a stimulating introduction to new perspectives on Homer and other traditional epics. Taking advantage of recent research on language and social exchange, the nine essays in this volume focus on performance and audience reception of oral poetry.

These innovative essays by leading scholars of Homer, oral poetics, and epic invite us to rethink some key concepts for an understanding of traditional epic poetry. Egbert Bakker examines the epic performer's use of time and tense in recounting a past that is alive. Tackling the question of full-length performance of the monumental Iliad, Andrew Ford considers the extent to which the work was perceived as a coherent whole in the archaic age. John Miles Foley addresses questions about spoken signs and the process of reference in epic discourse, and Ahuvia Kahane studies rhythm as a semantic factor in the Homeric performance. Richard Martin suggests a new range of performance functions for the Homeric simile. And Gregory Nagy establishes the importance of one feature of epic language, the ellipsis. These six essays centered on Homer engage with fundamental issues that are addressed by three essays primarily concerned with medieval epic: those by Franz BãƒÂ¤uml on the concept of fact; by Wulf Oesterreicher on types of orality; and by Ursula Schaefer on written and spoken media. In their Introduction the editors highlight the underlying approach and viewpoints of this collaborative volume.Reviews of this book: "Despite its wide range of topics and approaches, the volume has a clear thematic focus. All contributors seek to leave behind the more formal concerns of past generations of scholars and aim instead at an understanding of orality as that which is (conceptually or actually) close, immediate, or performed. In their joint search for the new picture, classicists, linguists, and medievalists discover a range of different 'oralities'."

—J. Haubold, Classical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674020467
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Series: Center for Hellenic Studies Colloquia , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 315
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Ahuvia Kahane is Assistant Professor of Classics at Northwestern University.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction (Ebert Bakker & Ahuvia Kahane) 1. Storytelling in the Future: Truth, Time, and Tense in Homeric Epic (Egbert Bakker) 2. Writing the Emperor’s Clothes On: Literacy and the Production of Facts (Franz H. Bäuml) 3. Traditional Signs and Homeric Art (John Miles Foley) 4. The Inland Ship: Problems in the Performance and Reception of Homeric Epic (Andrew Ford) 5. Hexameter Progression and the Homeric Hero’s Solitary State (Ahuvia Kahane) 6. Similes and Performance (Richard P. Martin) 7. Ellipsis in Homer (Gregory Nagy) 8. Types of Orality in Text (Wulf Oesterreicher) 9. The Medial Approach: A Paradigm Shift in the Philologies? (Ursula Schaefer) Notes Bibliography Contributors Index

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