By Shadi Bartsch
Is Lucan's really good and ugly epic Civil battle an instance of ideological poetry at its such a lot flagrant, or is it a piece that despairingly declares the meaninglessness of ideology? Shadi Bartsch deals a startlingly new solution to this cut up debate at the Roman poet's magnum opus. Reflecting at the disintegration of the Roman republic within the wake of the civil battle that started in forty nine B.C., Lucan (writing in the course of the grim tyranny of Nero's Rome) recounts that fateful clash with a unusually ambiguous portrayal of his republican hero, Pompey. even if the tale is considered one of a sad defeat, the language of his epic is extra frequently violent and nihilistic than heroic and tragic. And Lucan is oddly desirous about the picture destruction of lives, the violation of human bodies--an curiosity paralleled in his deviant syntax and fragmented poetry. In an research that pulls on modern political notion starting from Hannah Arendt and Richard Rorty to the poetry of Vietnam veterans, in addition to on literary idea and historic assets, Bartsch unearths within the paradoxes of Lucan's poetry either a political irony that responds to the universally perceived desire for, but suspicion of, ideology, and a recourse to the redemptive strength of storytelling. This clever and vigorous ebook contributes considerably to our figuring out of Roman civilization and of poetry as a method of political expression.