Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226437477 Published February 2001
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226437484 Published February 2001

Secret of the Muses Retold

Classical Influences on Italian Authors of the Twentieth Century

John T. Kirby

Secret of the Muses Retold
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John T. Kirby

168 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2001
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226437477 Published February 2001
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226437484 Published February 2001
Precious repositories of ancient wisdom? Musty relics of outmoded culture? Timeless paragons of artistic achievement? Hegemonic tools of intellectual repression? Just what are the classics, anyway, and why do (or should) we still pay so much attention to them? What is the literary canon? What is myth, and how do we use it?

These are some of the questions that gave rise to John Kirby's Secret of the Muses Retold. This new study of works by five twentieth-century Italian writers investigates the abiding influence of the Greek and Roman classics, and their rich legacy in our own day. The result is not only a splendid introduction to contemporary Italian literature, but also a lucid and stimulating meditation on the insights that writers such as Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino have tapped from the wellspring of ancient tradition.

Kirby's book offers an impassioned plea for the recuperation of the humanities in general, and of classical studies in particular. No expertise in Greek, Latin, Italian, or literary theory is presumed, and both traditional and postmodern perspectives are accommodated.
Contents
PRELUDE
CHAPTER 1- THE RIDDLE OF FATE
Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Pier Paolo Pasolini's Edipo re
CHAPTER 2- THE WORLD AS TEXT
Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose as Semiotic Fiction
CHAPTER 3- FRESH AIR FROM HELICON
The Neo-Latin Verse of Joseph Tusiani
CHAPTER 4- RHETORICAL VALUES ANCIENT AND MODERN
Hermogenes' On Types of Style and Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium
CHAPTER 5- THE REVESTITURE OF MYTH
Robert Calasso's The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony
CODA
APPENDIX: Joseph Tusiani, Latin Poetry
REFERENCES
INDEX
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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