Reception and Theory

Ludics in Surrealist Theatre and Beyond
Rapti, Vassiliki. 2013. Ludics in Surrealist Theatre and Beyond. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Publisher's VersionAbstract
  • Taking as its point of departure the complex question about whether Surrealist theatre exists, this book re-examines the much misunderstood artistic medium of theatre within Surrealism, especially when compared to poetry and painting. This study reconsiders Surrealist theatre specifically from the perspective of ludics-a poetics of play and games-an ideal approach to the Surrealists, whose games blur the boundaries between the 'playful' and the 'serious.'

    Vassiliki Rapti's aims are threefold: first, to demystify André Breton's controversial attitude toward theatre; second, to do justice to Surrealist theatre, by highlighting the unique character that derives from its inherent element of play; and finally, to trace the impact of Surrealist theatre in areas far beyond its generally acknowledged influence on the Theatre of the Absurd-an impact being felt even on the contemporary world stage. Beginning with the Surrealists' 'one-into-another' game and its illustration of Breton's ludic dramatic theory, Rapti then examines the traces of this kind of game in the works of a wide variety of Surrealist and Post-Surrealist playwrights and stage directors, from several different countries, and from the 1920s to the present: Roger Vitrac, Antonin Artaud, Günter Berghaus, Nanos Valaoritis, Robert Wilson, and Megan Terry.
Weiss, Naomi A. 2012. “Recognition and Identity in Euripides' Ion .” Recognition and Modes of Knowledge: Anagnorisis from Antiquity to Contemporary Theory, edited by T Russo, 33–50. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 33–50.
Thomas, Richard F. 2012. “The Streets of Rome: The Classical Dylan.” Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition, edited by William Brockliss, Pramit Chaudhuri, Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, and Katherine Wasdin, 134–159. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 134–159.
C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy
Roilos, Panagiotis. 2009. C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Konstantinos P. Kavafis--known to the English-reading world as C. P. Cavafy--has been internationally recognized as an important poet and attracted the admiration of eminent literary figures such as E. M. Forster, F. T. Marinetti, W. H. Auden, George Seferis, and James Merrill. Cavafy's idiosyncratic poetry remains one of the most influential and perplexing voices of European modernism.

Focusing on Cavafy's intriguing work, this book navigates new territories in critical theory and offers an interdisciplinary study of the construction of (homo)erotic desire in poetry in terms of metonymic discourse and anti-economic libidinal modalities. Panagiotis Roilos shows that problematizations of art production, market economy, and trafficability of erôs in diverse late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European sociocultural and political contexts were re-articulated in Cavafy's poetry in new subversive ways that promoted an "unorthodox" discursive and libidinal anti-economy of jouissance.

Fairy Tales From Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Past of Wonderful Lies
Ziolkowski, Jan M. 2007. Fairy Tales From Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Past of Wonderful Lies. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

When did fairy tales begin? What qualifies as a fairy tale? Is a true fairy tale oral or literary? Or is a fairy tale determined not by style but by content? To answer these and other questions, Jan M. Ziolkowski not only provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical debates about fairy tale origins but includes an extensive discussion of the relationship of the fairy tale to both the written and oral sources. Ziolkowski offers interpretations of a sampling of the tales in order to sketch the complex connections that existed in the Middle Ages between oral folktales and their written equivalents, the variety of uses to which the writers applied the stories, and the diverse relationships between the medieval texts and the expressions of the same tales in the "classic" fairy tale collections of the nineteenth century. In so doing, Ziolkowski explores stories that survive in both versions associated with, on the one hand, such standards of the nineteenth-century fairy tale as the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Carlo Collodi and, on the other, medieval Latin, demonstrating that the literary fairy tale owes a great debt to the Latin literature of the medieval period.

Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Melodies in the Early Middle Ages
Ziolkowski, Jan M. 2007. Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Melodies in the Early Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Nota Bene explores a little-known juxtaposition of verbal text and musical notation in the Middle Ages. This particular intersection deserves attention from those interested in music, the reception of classical Latin literature, the history of education, and the development of punctuation.

Between the late tenth century and the late twelfth century, the musical notation known as neumes was provided in dozens of manuscripts for, among other texts, a number of Horace's Odes as well as for sections of epics by Lucan, Statius, and Vergil. These materials constitute a paradoxical corpus of "classical poems in plainchant" that complicates our views of both how students learned Latin and what was being sung in an era most often associated with Gregorian chant. The book wrestles first with the literary-historical puzzle of why certain passages and not others were "neumed" and later with the ethnomusicological riddles of how, where, when, and by whom the passages were sung.

Virgil and the Augustan Reception
Thomas, Richard F. 2001. Virgil and the Augustan Reception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This book examines the ideological reception of Virgil at specific moments in the past two millennia. It focuses on the emperor Augustus in the poetry of Virgil, detects in the poets and grammarians of antiquity pro- and anti-Augustan readings, studies Dryden's 1697 Royalist translation, and also naive American translation. It scrutinizes nineteenth-century philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, and covers readings by both supporters and opponents of fascism and National Socialism. Finally it examines how successive ages have made the Aeneid conform to their upbeat expectations of this poet.