Literary Loves : Interpretations of Dioscorides 1-5 and 7 G-P
Sammanfattning: This is a study of six Hellenistic erotic epigrams attributed to the third century BC epigrammatist Dioscorides. The introduction provides a critical discussion of interpretive aims and strategies of scholarly readings of Hellenistic epigrams in general, with a focus on concepts such as intertextuality, historicity, ideology and theory. The individual chapters address a wide range of philological and literary particularities, but the interpretive focus is placed on the interrelatedness and interchangeability of the epigrams’ erotic and poetic aspects and actors, and the epigrams’ literary self-awareness and self-reflexivity. In the first chapter, Dioscorides 5 G–P is shown to blur the categories of poet and lover, and poem and beloved, and to use sexual intercourse as a metaphor for poetic production. The second chapter proposes a new understanding of the relationship between Dioscorides 3 and 4 G–P as an epigram pair dramatizing the poetic principles of imitation and variation. In the third chapter, Dioscorides 2 G–P is discussed as a mediation of eros and poiesis, presenting erotic desire as both cause and effect of poetic production and performance respectively. Chapter four highlights contradictory elements in the literary construct of the object of desire in Dioscorides 1 G–P. In the last chapter, neglected literary motivations for and editorial applications of the sexual contents of Dioscorides 7 G-P are explored. The conclusion stresses the open-endedness of literary interpretation, and the polysemic qualities of these epigrams.
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