Lyric Minds

TitleLyric Minds
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBudelmann, F
EditorBudelmann, F, Phillips, T
Book TitleTextual Events: Performance and the Lyric in Early Greece
PublisherOxford University Press

Like other lyric, the solo lyric of early Greece creates encounters with another mind. Drawing on the psychological phenomenon of ‘mentalizing’, this chapter attempts to capture the quality of these encounters. In contrast to epic or drama, where we observe a multiplicity of characters as they interact with one another horizontally, lyric minds attain complexity vertically: audiences encounter the mind of the speaker in the text, that of the performer, and of the author. Lyric thus fragments and asks us to reassemble what in ordinary life is one—the flesh-and-blood person before us, the words, and the person from whom the words originate—and thus creates its peculiar blend of immediacy and opacity. In the course of this argument, a case is made for the necessary truthfulness of the lyric speaker. Whereas the lyric performer inhabits words that are not wholly his/her own, the lyric speaker is necessarily truthful. []


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