Astrid Grindeland on Lucian's poetics
At the next Classics seminar, Astrid Grindeland (MA student in Greek, University of Oslo) will speak on her ongoing work on Lucian. Classics seminar email list subscribers will receive a zoom link two days before the event. If you have not received a zoom link, please email the Classics seminar organizer (email@example.com) directly.
Collage of a seventeenth-century engraving of Lucian by William Faithorne, Menippus by Velázquez, and the frontispiece of Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy, representing Prometheus.
Prometheus and Menippus: two of Lucian’s metapoetic personae
Lucian’s rhetorical introductory texts, commonly known as prolaliae, have in recent years attracted much scholarly attention. They are rife with anecdotes about artists and performers as well as musings on the correct way to evaluate a work of art, and for that reason easily lend themselves to metapoetic analysis. However, when it comes to the relationship of these short texts to the rest of the Lucianic corpus, much remains to be explored. Drawing on William Hynes’ description of the trickster figure and Victor Turner’s concept of liminality, I will examine two of Lucian’s metapoetic personae – Prometheus from the prolalia A Literary Prometheus and the dialogue Prometheus, and Menippus from Icaromenippus. The portrayal of both these figures as ambiguous, spatially indeterminate creators of hybrids may, as I will suggest, contribute toward the outline of a distinctive Lucianic poetics.