Secret of the Muses Retold: Classical Influences on Italian Authors of the Twentieth Century

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 167 pages
0 Reviews
Precious repositories of ancient wisdom? Musty relics of outmoded culture? Timeless paragons of artistic achievement? Hegemonic tools of intellectual repression? Just what are the classics, anyway, and why do (or should) we still pay so much attention to them? What is the literary canon? What is myth, and how do we use it?

These are some of the questions that gave rise to John Kirby's Secret of the Muses Retold. This new study of works by five twentieth-century Italian writers investigates the abiding influence of the Greek and Roman classics, and their rich legacy in our own day. The result is not only a splendid introduction to contemporary Italian literature, but also a lucid and stimulating meditation on the insights that writers such as Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino have tapped from the wellspring of ancient tradition.

Kirby's book offers an impassioned plea for the recuperation of the humanities in general, and of classical studies in particular. No expertise in Greek, Latin, Italian, or literary theory is presumed, and both traditional and postmodern perspectives are accommodated.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

PRELUDE
xi
THE RIDDLE OF FATE Sophocles Oedipus the King and Pier Paolo Pasolinis Edipo re
1
THE WORLD AS TEXT Umberto Ecos The Name of the Rose as Semiotic Fiction
30
FRESH AIR FROM HELICON The NeoLatin Verse of Joseph Tusiani
54
RHETORICAL VALUES ANCIENT AND MODERN Hermogenes On Types of Style and Italo Calvinos Six Memos for the Next Millennium
82
THE REVESTITURE OF MYTH Roberto Calassos The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
104
CODA
127
Joseph Tusiani Latin Poetry
137
REFERENCES
143
INDEX
157
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2000)

John T. Kirby is a professor of classics and comparative literature at Purdue University. His other books include The Rhetoric of Cicero's Pro Cluentio, The Comparative Reader: A Handlist of Basic Reading in Comparative Literature, and World Eras: Classical Greek Civilization, 800-323 B.C.E.

Bibliographic information