Labor imperfectus : unfinished, incomplete, partial texts in classical antiquity / edited by Jacqueline Fabre-Serris, Marco Formisano and Stavros Frangoulidis.

  • Berlin : Walter de Gruyter GmbH, [2024]
  • ©2024
1 online resource (ix, 432 pages) : illustrations.


Summary note
Unfinishedness and incompleteness are a central feature of ancient Greek and Roman literature that has often been taken for granted but not deeply examined; many texts have been transmitted to us incomplete. How and to what extent has this feature of many texts influenced their aesthetic perception and interpretation, and how does it still influence them today? Also, how do various editorial arrangements of fragmentary texts influence the reconstruction of closure? These important questions offer the opportunity to bring together specialists working on Greek and Roman texts across various genres: epic, tragedy, poetry, mythographic texts, rhetorical texts, philosophical treatises, and the novel. Reading a text by focusing on its current unfinishedness or incompleteness, or the textual signs suggesting an unfinished or incomplete state, the contributors examine the relations between author, reader and text as underscored by the verbal, generic and aesthetic features of each work. This edited volume brings together a broad spectrum of approaches to ancient and modern texts and aims to reach out to a broad scholarly community consisting not only of Classicists but also scholars of other literature and aesthetics.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Source of description
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (viewed on May 23, 2024)
  • Intro
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • List of Figures
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Facing Unfinishedness
  • From the Authorial to the Editorial tour de force: How to Read Callimachus' Aetia and Hecale
  • How to Walk Along a Pioneer's Fragmentary Track: Theophrastus' Meteorological Studies
  • Fragments of Roman Sexuality in Petronius' Satyricon
  • Part II: Questioning (In)Completeness
  • The "Alexandrian End" of the Odyssey
  • Reconsidering Closure in Ovid's Fasti
  • Statius' Achilleid: How to Break off a carmen perpetuum
  • Literatura Incompleta: Borges' Antiquity between World and Universe
  • Part III: Constitutive Unfinishedness
  • Sed redeo ad formulam (Off. 3.20): Completeness and Imperfection in Cicero's De officiis
  • Relativizing Unfinishedness: Lucretian Textuality and Epicurean Therapy
  • The Fragment as a Form: A Reading of Fragments d'un discours amoureux by Barthes
  • Arrhythmic Historiography, Lost Letters and Broken Meanings: Fulgentius's De aetatibus mundi et hominis
  • "This City Will Always Pursue You": The Impossible End of Rutilius Namatianus' Return
  • Part IV: Reading Unfinishedness
  • Finishing Iphigenia in Aulis
  • Seneca's Phoenissae: In Search of an Ending
  • How to Read Hyginus' Fabulae? Theories and Practices
  • The Rest was not Perfected: Platonic Endings and their Modern Echoes
  • War as a Permanent Civil War: The "Unfinished" History in Pasolini's Petrolio
  • Part V: Searching for Completion
  • The Missing Conclusion to Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica
  • Speaking Silences: The Incompleteness of Tacitus' Annals and Gustav Freytag's Die verlorene Handschrift
  • Putting an Unfinished Novel Back into Motion: A Digital Tool to Create Possible "Second Volumes" of Bouvard et Pécuchet
  • List of Contributors
  • General Index
  • Index of Passages.
  • 3-11-134094-5
  • 9783111340944
  • 3111340945
  • 10.1515/9783111340944
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