A Companion to Persius and Juvenal by Susanna Braund, Josiah Osgood

By Susanna Braund, Josiah Osgood

A spouse to Persius and Juvenal breaks new flooring in its in-depth specialize in either authors as "satiric successors"; specified person contributions recommend unique views on their paintings, and supply an in-depth exploration of Persius' and Juvenal's afterlives.

  • Provides certain and updated assistance at the texts and contexts of Persius and Juvenal
  • Offers big dialogue of the reception of either authors, reflecting one of the most cutting edge paintings being performed in modern Classics
  • Contains an intensive exploration of Persius' and Juvenal's afterlives

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Extra info for A Companion to Persius and Juvenal

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And with a final flourish, at lines 14–19, Horace contrasts his own poetic skills with Lucilius’ flaws: unlike Lucilius, Horace can (or so he wants us to believe) actually exercise discipline in his writing; his goal in his own writing, unlike Lucilius’, was to speak raro et perpauca (18). Here, as in the rest of this complex and convoluted poem, Horace is refining his own sense of what satire ought to be and do, and cataloguing the typical ways in which the genre is misread and misinterpreted. Along the way, however, in another move typical of satirists, he leads the reader down blind alleys, arguing his position with abrupt transitions and questionable logic, and in the end makes it impossible for anyone to be certain when he is serious, semi-serious, ironic, disingenuous, or simply (and genuinely) confused.

This is a specific response to Lucilian satire, which Horace conceptualized as 30 Persius and Juvenal: Texts and Contexts uninhibited and carefree. Horace, by contrast, felt he had to ratchet down the level of libertas that Lucilius allowed himself so as not to alienate his audience. When he imagines an angry crowd (35) claiming that he would not even “spare a friend” in his effort to raise a laugh (dummodo risum | excutiat sibi, non hic cuiquam parcet amico [“as long as he shakes out a laugh | for himself, this one will not spare any friend”]), Horace draws attention to the central dilemma of satire: it exists to make an audience laugh at the expense of someone else, but it is an inherently antagonistic mode and as such runs the risk of angering an aggrieved party.

What is more, Horace’s repeated claims in Book 1 that he is really only interested in writing verse for a small group of appreciative and sophisticated friends begins to seem thoroughly disingenuous in light of line 46, above, where he threatens anyone who aggravates him with widespread public censure: “he will weep and will be sung about throughout all of Rome” (flebit et insignis tota cantabitur urbe). ” Is the point of satire, in fact, to persuade its targets, through shame or humiliation, to change their behavior, or is it to play to the aesthetic tastes of people who implicitly align themselves with the poet and take more pleasure in the performance of comic Schadenfreude than in its moral substance?

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