Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Lyric: The Case of Sappho

TitleFiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Lyric: The Case of Sappho
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsD’Alessio, G
EditorBudelmann, F, Phillips, T
Ancient AuthorsSappho Lyr. (TLG 0009)
Book Title Textual Events: Performance and the Lyric in Early Greece
PublisherOxford University Press

This chapter offers an analysis of the ways in which the language of Sappho’s poems makes use of pragmatic elements that evoke a link to an extratextual world. Through this analysis, the dominant interpretative paradigm is questioned that sees Sappho’s poetry as primarily embedded within a ritual performance context, as well as the alternative reading that explains some of its most salient features as due to strategies enabled by the adoption of writing as a medium of communication. While emphasizing the centrality of performance as a theme and a concern in Sappho’s poems, the chapter shows how the texts often locate themselves outside a proper performative frame, providing a look at ritual from a marginal, personal, and yet powerfully exemplary perspective. []


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