Synopses & Reviews
Conversing with Antiquity collects, in a substantially revised and updated form, studies of the reception of the classics by English poets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by one of the leading scholars in the field. A new Introduction locates the book's investigations within the context of current debates between aestheticians and cultural historians about the reception of classical culture. Where some recent studies have regarded English poets' dealings with the classics as acts of 'appropriation', or even 'colonialization', David Hopkins emphasizes the element of dialogic give-and-take in the relationship between these poets and their classical peers. He argues that, rather than simply 'updating' or 'assimilating' the classics to their own cultural norms, poets such as Abraham Cowley, Lucy Hutchinson, Thomas Creech, John Milton, John Dryden, and Alexander Pope engaged in trans-historical conversation with Greek and Roman poets, in which self-discovery and self-transcendence were as important as any simple 'accommodation' of ancient texts to modern tastes.
"This is a welcome and in fact valuable publication that will be widely appreciated by those interested in classical reception in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries."--Dan Hooley, University of Missouri
Conversing with Antiquity gathers together a selection of revised previously published articles by one of the foremost scholars of Renaissance and early modern English literature, contextualizing them with a specially written Introduction. David Hopkins explores the interaction between English poets of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and those of ancient Greece and Rome, emphasizing the element of exchange and dialogue between the two. Hopkins stresses the ways in which English poets were changed by their engagement with the Classics. He also suggests that valuable new light is cast on classical literature itself by English poets' responses. His study encompasses a number of major classical poets (Homer, Lucretius, Horace, Ovid, Juvenal), and with both mainstream canonical English poets (Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Pope) and some of their more interesting contemporaries (Abraham Cowley, Lucy Hutchinson, Thomas Creech, Henry Higden, Christopher Smart).
About the Author
David Hopkins, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, University of Bristol
David Hopkins is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Bristol.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Reception as Conversation
1. 'The English Homer: Shakespeare, Longinus, and English 'Neoclassicism'
2. Cowley's Horatian Mice
3. The English Voices of Lucretius, from Lucy Hutchinson to John Mason Good
4. 'If he were living, and an Englishman': Translation Theory in the Age of Dryden
5. Dryden and the Tenth Satire of Juvenal
6. Dryden's 'Baucis and Philemon'
7. Nature's Laws and Man's: Dryden's 'Cinyras and Myrrha'
8. Dryden and Ovid's 'Wit out of Season': 'The Twelfth Book of Ovid his Metamorphoses' and 'Ceyx and Alcyone'
9. Translation, Metempsychosis, and the Flux of Nature: Dryden's 'Of the Pythagorean Philosophy'
10. Some Varieties of Pope's Classicism
11. Pope's Trojan Geography
12. Colonization, Closure, or Creative Dialogue? The Case of Pope's Iliad