Ideology in Cold Blood
A Reading of Lucan's "Civil War"
By (author) Shadi Bartsch
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Ideology in Cold Blood by Shadi Bartsch
Book DescriptionIs Lucan's epic "Civil War" an example of ideological poetry at its most flagrant, or is it a work that desparingly proclaims the meaninglessness of ideology? Shadi Bartsch offers an answer to this split debate on the Roman poet's magnum opus. Reflecting on the disintegration of the Roman Republic in the wake of the civil war that began in 49BC, Lucan (writing during the reign of Nero) recounts that fateful conflict with a strangely ambiguous portrayal of his republican hero, Pompey. Although the story is one of tragic defeat, the language of his epic is more often violent and nihilistic than heroic and tragic. Lucan is oddly fascinated by the graphic destruction of lives, the violation of human bodies - an interest paralleled in his deviant syntax and fragmented poetry. In an analysis that draws on contemporary political thought ranging from Hannah Arendt and Richard Rorty to the poetry of Vietnam veterans, as well as on literary theory and ancient sources, Bartsch finds in the paradoxes of Lucan's poetry both a political irony that responds to the universally perceived need for, yet suspicion of, ideology, and a recourse to the redemptive power of storytelling.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674005501
(200mm x 133mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 8-May-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Shadi Bartsch
Persius, Hardback (April 2015)
Features poems of a Roman poet and satirist. This book argues that author sets his own bizarre metaphors of food, digestion, and sexuality against more appealing imagery to show that the latter - and the poetry containing it - harms rather than helps its audience.
Cambridge Companion to Seneca, Paperback (February 2015)
This Companion examines the complete works of Seneca in context and establishes the importance of his legacy in Western thought.
Mirror of the Self, Paperback (October 2014)View all books by Shadi Bartsch
People in the ancient world thought of vision as both an ethical tool and a tactile sense, akin to touch. The author traces this complex notion of self from Plato's Greece to Seneca's Rome as she unveils divided selves, moral hypocrisy, and lustful Stoics - and offers fresh insights about seminal works.
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Author Biography - Shadi Bartsch
Shadi Bartsch is Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago.
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