Reading Sappho: Contemporary Approaches

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Ellen Greene
University of California Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 303 pages
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Reading Sappho considers Sappho's poetry as a powerful, influential voice in the Western cultural tradition. Essays are divided into four sections: "Language and Literary Context," "Homer and Oral Tradition", "Ritual and Social Context", and "Women's Erotics". Contributors focus on literary history, mythic traditions, cultural studies, performance studies, recent work in feminist theory, and more.

A legendary literary figure, Sappho has attracted readers, critics, and biographers ever since she composed poems on the island of Lesbos at the close of the seventh century B.C. Bringing together some of the best recent criticism on the subject, this volume, together with Re-Reading Sappho, represents the first anthology of Sappho scholarship, drawing attention to Sappho's importance as a poet and reflecting the diversity of critical approaches in classical and literary scholarship during the last several decades.
 

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Contents

LANGUAGE AND LITERARY CONTEXT
2
Sapphos Amatory Language
11
Reading the Symbols of Greek Lyric
35
Sappho and Helen
79
An Initiation into Womanhood
113
Who Sang Sapphos Songs?
150
WOMENS EROTICS
163
Woman and Language in Archaic Greece or Why Is Sappho a Woman?
175
Fantasies of a Goddess and Young Man
193
The Justice of Aphrodite in Sappho 1
226
Apostrophe and Womens Erotics in the Poetry of Sappho
233
Sappho and the Other Woman
248
BIBLIOGRAPHY
265
CONTRIBUTORS
287
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About the author (1996)

Ellen Greene is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma.

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