The notorious image of Pandora haunts mythology: a woman created as punishment for the crimes of man, she is the bearer of hope yet also responsible for the Earth’s desolation. She binds together perpetuating dichotomies that underlie the most fundamental aspects of the Western canon: beauty and evil, body and soul, depth and superficiality, truth and lie. Speaking in multiplicity, Pandora emerges as the first sign of female complexity.
In this compelling study, Vered Lev Kenaan offers a radical revision of the Greek myth of the first woman. She argues that Pandora leaves a decisive mark on ancient poetics and shows that we can unravel the profound impact of Pandora’s image once we recognize that Pandora embodies the very idea of the ancient literary text. Locating the myth of the first woman right at the heart of feminist interrogation of gender and textuality, Pandora’s Senses moves beyond a feminist critique of masculine hegemony by challenging the reading of Pandora as a one-dimensional embodiment of the misogynist vision of the feminine. Uncovering Pandora as a textual principle operating outside of the feminine, Lev Kenaan shows the centrality of this iconic figure among the poetics of such central genres as the cosmological and didactic epic, the Platonic dialogue, the love elegy, and the ancient novel. Pandora’s Senses innovates our understanding of gender as a critical lens through which to view ancient literature.
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Pandoras Voice and the Emergence of Ovids Poetic Persona
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Alcibiades Amatoria Amores ancient text Aphrodite appearance Aristophanes beauty become body Catullus context cosmological creates creation Days desire dialogue didactic didactic epic difference dimension Diotima discourse divine poetry elegist embodies Epimetheus Eros erotic erotodidactic ethical evil experience female feminine voice feminist figure of Pandora gaze gender genealogy genre gods Golden Age Greek Helen Heroides Hesiod Hesiod's didactic Homeric human poetry identity image of Pandora interpretation Kronos language literary Loraux lovers male manifestation masculine meaning misogynist Mount Helicon Muses myth of Pandora mythical narrative nature Odysseus origin Ovid Ovid's Ovidian Pandora Pandora episode Pandora's Senses Penelope Phaeacians philosophical Plato poem poet poetic present primordial Propertius Pucci rape reader reading reflects relationship Remedia Amoris response role Roman love elegy Sappho seductive sexual significance Socrates song specifically story text's textual thauma Theodote Theogony tion tradition Typhoeus understanding Vernant virgin visibility visual weaving woman women wonder words Zeitlin Zeus Zeus's