Year: 2008 ISBN: 978-90-429-2011-8 Pages: XII-231 p. Price: 54 EURO
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Summary: Look Who's Talking examines the methods by which the ancient reader identified the speaker and addressee of epigram, and how these methods were manipulated by hellenistic epigrammatists. Conventions in place from epigram's inscribed heritage were used, at first, to maintain the conceit of inscription, but later formed the basis for mixing of epigrammatic subgenres or even, in the case of Asclepiades, the creation of erotic epigram. Among the most significant hellenistic innovations are the development of a passerby motif and the evolution of epigram's tendency to address its inherent writtenness. The book also traces the development of the ancient habit of equating an artistic image with the thing or being it represented; Nossis, later joined by Theocritus and Callimachus, developed a stance from which they could critique this subtle equation. This book thinks of hellenistic epigram the way its authors did - from the background of inscription - and consequently discovers many of the places where hellenistic epigrammatists hoped to make their mark.