Venom in Verse by Gonda A.H. Van Steen

By Gonda A.H. Van Steen

Aristophanes has loved a conspicuous revival in 19th- and twentieth-century Greece. the following, Gonda Van Steen offers the 1st severe research of the position of the classical Athenian playwright in sleek Greek tradition, explaining how the sociopolitical "venom" of Aristophanes' verses continues to be appropriate and attractive to trendy Greek audiences. Deriding or not easy recognized figures and conservative values, Aristophanes' comedies transgress authority and proceed to talk to many social teams in Greece who've present in him a witty, pointed, and obtainable champion from their "native" culture.

The publication addresses the wider concerns mirrored within the poet's revival: political and linguistic nationalism, literary and cultural authenticity as opposed to creativity, censorship, and social strife. Van Steen's dialogue levels from attitudes towards Aristophanes earlier than and through Greece's struggle of Independence within the 1820s to these through the chilly warfare, from feminist debates to the importance of the preferred tune built-in into comedian revival productions, from the havoc transvestite diversifications wreaked on gender roles to the political protest symbolized through Karolos Koun's directorial offerings.

Crossing obstacles of classical philology, serious thought, and function reviews, the ebook encourages us to reconsider Aristophanes' comedies as either play-acts and smooth tools of communique. Van Steen makes use of fabric by no means prior to available in English as she proves that Aristophanes is still Greece's immortal comedian genius and political voice.

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S. President Thomas Jefferson, kept him at the cutting edge of Western ideology. 6 Mainland Greece, unlike Italy, France, Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands, had remained isolated from the mainstream of Western ideas. The Ottoman hegemony, which lasted until 1830, had deprived the Greek intelligentsia of access to the manuscripts of ancient authors that Eastern scholars had carried off from the disintegrating Byzantine empire. Since the 1453 fall of Constantinople, the Tourkokratia had effectively insulated native Greek territory from Western European historical movements—most important, from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Before Voltaire and Rousseau, seventeenth-century French dramatic theorists either had excluded Aristophanes from their purview or had regarded comedy as much less worthy of critical and scholarly attention than tragedy. In his Pratique du th´eatre ˆ (1657), for example, l’Abb´e d’Aubignac had focused on Attic comedy to make an overt and prolonged attack against the ancients, who had shamefully enjoyed Aristophanes’ “abuse” of Socrates. E. comedy as a primitive genre anticipating the more sophisticated New Comedy of Menander and the Romans.

7 In his view, the French Enlightenment had the most to impart to the Neohellenic quest for liberal nationhood and cultural self-realization, so he held up French literary, philo- 20 · Chapter 1 sophical, scientific, and ethical accomplishments as models to admire and emulate. The French Enlightenment also laid bare the urgent need for Neohellenic intellectuals to define the proper relationship not only between the new nation and Western Europe, but also between the modern Greeks and their Western-invented ancient ancestors.

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