mimesis

On the idea of dead poets as imagined by T. S. Eliot, compared with ideas about reperformance, Part II

§0. In Part II of this essay, continuing now from Part I (Nagy 2021.04.17), I return to what T. S. Eliot said (1919 [1975]:38) about the poet he was in his youth—and about any aspiring poet in general: “the most individual parts of his work,” he said, “may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously.” In Part I, I applied this idea of… Read more

On the idea of dead poets as imagined by T. S. Eliot, compared with ideas about reperformance, Part I

In an essay first published in the year 1919, “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” T. S. Eliot made a bold statement about poets, dead or alive. Back then—I show as illustration for this essay a picture taken of him around that time—he was thinking not only about the “individual talent” of young poets like himself but also about the collective legacy of all “dead poets” stemming from the “European tradition,”… Read more

Some imitations of Pindar and Sappho by Horace

2015.12.31 | By Gregory Nagy Horace’s imitations of Sappho in Ode 4.1 and of Pindar in Ode 4.2 show his deep understanding of archaic Greek lyric poetry. Particularly striking is his visualization of Icarus in Ode 4.2 as a negative model for such poetry. The artificial wings of Icarus are seen as a foil for the natural wings of the swan, the sacred bird of Apollo, who is god of… Read more

Text and reperformance: do you really need a text for your reperformance?

posted 2021.06.24, to be reperformed 2021.06.30 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This presentation offers friendly criticism of the views of classicists who use such terms as "text" and "reperformance" without fully taking into account various comparative perspectives that have for some time been made available by way of typological descriptions of "live" performance as observed and analyzed in a wide variety of ethnographical studies. Read more