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The Space that RemainsReading of Latin Poetry in Late Antiquity$
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Aaron Pelttari

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452765

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452765.001.0001

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The Presence of the Reader

The Presence of the Reader

Allusion in Late Antiquity

(p.115) Chapter 4 The Presence of the Reader
The Space that Remains

Aaron Pelttari

Cornell University Press

This chapter is devoted to intertextuality, focusing on a characteristically late antique form of allusion. These allusions approximate quotations, for they set a fragment—typically of classical poetry—off against its new context within the late antique poem. The chapter begins by discussing the ways in which allusion was employed by classical poets. It then treats allusions from late antiquity that are progressively more exposed to the presence of their reader. Because late antique allusions do not need to be read as referential, the referentiality (or not) of allusion will serve as a pivot between classical and late antique poetics. Instead of asserting their control over the tradition, late antique poets present their work as a fragmented and open text: they juxtapose independent fragments of classical poetry, they set these units in apposition to their own words, and they avoid emulation. In so doing, they reveal themselves as readers and allow their audience to engage in the continuing play of interpretation.

Keywords:   allusion, intertextuality, late antique poems, classical poetry, reader, poets, interpretation

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