Pope and Horace: Studies in Imitation by Frank Stack

By Frank Stack

Pope published his Imitations of Horace along the unique Horatian poems on which they have been established, and to appreciate those works absolutely it can be crucial to match intimately each one Imitation with its unique. this is often the 1st booklet to take action. via an in depth research of every Horatian poem (translated anew, for the numerous readers of Pope who have no idea Latin), Mr Stack explores the advanced and sophisticated intertextual dating among Pope's Imitations and their originals. a major characteristic of the ebook is the certain comparability with different eighteenth-century perspectives of Horace. chapters at the interpretation of Horace within the 17th and eighteenth centuries spotlight the ability and originality of Pope's therapy. by means of drawing upon quite a lot of twentieth-century feedback of Horace, Mr Stack indicates that Pope's Imitations are nonetheless difficult and will make us glance afresh at Horace's poems. The thrust of the ebook is to stress the unconventional nature of Pope's interpretation of Horace, an engagement that's either dynamic and altering. Pope responds to the main major elements of Horace - the remedy of human inconsistency, the explorations of the character of the self, the flow among scepticism and idealism - and re-explores those issues in his personal poetry. of their profound debt to Horace, and of their try and turn into vigorously autonomous from him, those Imitations stand as some of the most outstanding examples of intertextuality in English literature.

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124: 'Ludentis speciem dabit, & torquebituf ('he'll make it look like child's play, although he's in agony' - Shaftesbury, 1714,1, p. 234). In 'Miscellaneous Reflections, Miscellany 1' he takes this even further, exploring the relationship between freedom in language and political freedom, and asserting the importance of Horace's habit of addressing epistles to individual named men rather than just the general public as Seneca did in the generation after Horace, Seneca's epistles being only nominally addressed to Lucilius, according to Shaftesbury (1714, in, 17—27).

Here Horace's poem on literary criticism is turned into a poem about the nature of moral life. Horace's Ars Poetica was, in fact, very often subjected to this kind of pastiche: the most popular were [William King], The Art of Cookery (1708), [James Bramston], The Art of Politicks (1729), [R. , The Art of Stock-jobbing (1746). Even if the complete Latin poem was printed at the bottom of the page, or if there were merely selected passages, comparison merely revealed that there was no substantial relationship between Horace's poem and the Imitation, there was merely a surface parody.

TREB. Even so you could write how he is both just and brave, like wise Lucilius did of Scipio. HOR. I shan't let myself down when the subject matter itself demands it. Not until the right moment will Flaccus's words enter the emperor's pricked-up ear. e. a refusal to do something, made in language which in some sense actually does what is 'refused' (from recuso which means 'to object to, to protest against, or refuse'). Stylistically this particular passage is very interesting, because it is a clear blending of serious and amusing recusatio.

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