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Generic Enrichment, Reader Expectation, and Metapoetic Trees in Horace's Odes

Scanlon, John Joseph (2014) Generic Enrichment, Reader Expectation, and Metapoetic Trees in Horace's Odes. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Generic enrichment, sometimes known as Kreuzung der Gattungen, is a well-known feature of Roman poetry that plays an integral role in Horatian lyric. This study explores Horace’s use of metapoetic trees as a tool for enacting and representing his attempts at generic enrichment in the Odes. After reviewing the traditional origins of genre theory in classical literature and attributing generic enrichment to an Alexandrian and Roman desire to enhance the value of their poetry, this study reconciles the apparent conflict between generic enrichment and prescriptive, invariable literary kinds by recasting genre as a set of expectations shared between author and audience in a continual and ever-evolving literary dialogue. Having done so, this study then reviews the ancient poets’ use of programmatic trees before specifically discussing their potential use by Horace as a means of engaging with the generic expectations of his audience. As proof, this study continues by recasting Odes 2.13, Horace’s poem celebrating his near-death escape from a falling tree, as a generic manifesto which reflects Horace’s successful integration of epic, elegy, and tragedy into the entirety of the Odes. After revealing the multi-generic nature of Odes 2.13, this study concludes by showing how Horace employs metapoetic trees throughout the remainder of the Odes, and particularly within the three poems which revisit the falling tree episode, to transform the divinities to whom Horace attributes his salvation (Faunus, the Muses, and Liber) into symbols of the very genres he has adapted to his lyric verse. In doing so, Horace establishes an interconnected web of arboricentric poems spanning the Odes which comments on the generically enriched nature of Horatian lyric.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Scanlon, John Josephjjs70@pitt.eduJJS70
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSmethurst, Mae J.msmet@pitt.eduMSMET
Committee MemberFloyd, Edwin D.edfloyd@pitt.eduEDFLOYD
Committee MemberPossanza, D. Markpossanza@pitt.eduPOSSANZA
Committee MemberLooney, Dennislooney@pitt.eduLOONEY
Date: 29 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 March 2014
Approval Date: 29 May 2014
Submission Date: 6 April 2014
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 248
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Classics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genre, Horace, Latin, Poetry, Metapoetics, Generic Enrichment, Odes, Trees, Liber, Muses, Camenae, Faunus, Epic, Elegy, Tragedy
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 00:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:18


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