Iambic Horror: Shivers and Brokenness in Archilochus and Hipponax

TitleIambic Horror: Shivers and Brokenness in Archilochus and Hipponax
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsTelò, M
EditorFoster, M, Kurke, L, Weiss, NA
Ancient AuthorsArchilochus Eleg., Iamb. (TLG 0232), Hipponax Iamb. (TLG 0233)
Book TitleGenre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models
Series TitleStudies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song 4; Mnemosyne Supplements 428

This chapter argues that affect, conceived as a circulation of bodily intensities between subject and object, can help us rematerialize the notion of genre in the study of archaic Greek lyric. Iambos constitutes a privileged case study, as it aligns its own slippery poetic stance with sadomasochistic thrills, a shattering of corporeality, which, in pushing the limits of feeling, places it at the core of generic discourse. The readings explore what can be called iambos’ powers of horror as they are expressed by the textures of images and sounds in Archilochus and Hipponax, and in their ancient reception. The way the iambic “you” (both target and audience) trespasses the discursive frame corresponds to the in-between-ness of affect but also to iambos’ masochistic proclivity, its disruption and expansion of corporeality through forms of aestheticized abjection, which, in Deleuzian terms, allow the body to “to escape from itself.” Heeding the shivers, prickles, and spasms materialized in iambic form, we are invited to reconsider genre as a genuinely aesthetic category, a matter of the intensities that pass between text and recipients, turning form into bodily and psychic engagement. [https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789004412590/BP000014.xml?body=contentSummary-23240]


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