"This study explores a previously uncharted area of ancient literary theory and criticism: the ancient landscapes (such as the Ilissus river in Athens and Mount Helicon) that generate metaphors for distinguishing styles, which dovetail with ancient conceptions of metaphor as itself spatial and mobile. Ancient writers most often coordinate stylistic features with country settings, where authoritative performers such as Muses, poets, and eventually critics or theorists view, appropriate, and emulate their bounties (for example springs, flowers, rivers, paths). These spaces of metaphor and their elaborations provide poets and critics with a vivid means of distinguishing among styles and an influential vocabulary. Together these figurative terrains shape critical and theoretical discussions in Greece and beyond. Since this discourse has a remarkably wide reach, the book is broad in scope, ranging from archaic Greek poetry through Roman oratory and 'Longinus' to the reception of critical imagery in Proust and Derrida"-- Back dust jacket cover. "This is a book about metaphors of place and spaces of metaphor in ancient literary theory and criticism. It traces the power of figuration to shape, in Shakespeare's famous phrase, "a local habitation and a name" and demonstrates the ways in which rural landscapes emerge in ancient convention as central to literary judgment and theorizing. Writers ranging from archaic poets to rhetorical theorists trace journeys to special places, stage scenes of viewing and appreciating the lay of the land, match inhabitants to their settings, discriminate among landscape features, and by means of imitation and emulation appropriate and reshape famous terrains. They engage in all of this elaborate spatial ordering primarily to delimit styles-first of poetry and later on of prose, predominantly oratory. But their discriminations also spring from and reinforce broader aesthetic and cultural hierarchies, so that their stylistic schemes have a more extensive reach than it may initially appear"-- Provided by publisher.
Introduction : dreams of order Mimesis, style, and the spaces of metaphor Rural resources : Hesiod, Pindar, and establishing poetic dominion On the road : charting the path of literary judgment in Aristophanes Rural retreats : staking philosophy's terrain in Plato Diaspora : journeys and idylls in Hellenistic poetry On the road again : Demetrius and fellow travelers on aesthetic re-routings In Plato's garden : reordering the retreat in Cicero and Dionysius of Halicarnassus Epilogue : dreaming in the garden with Proust.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 325-345) and indexes.