Pindar, Paean 6: Genre as Embodied Cultural Knowledge

TitlePindar, Paean 6: Genre as Embodied Cultural Knowledge
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsOlsen, S
EditorFoster, M, Kurke, L, Weiss, NA
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
Book TitleGenre in Archaic and Classical Greek Poetry: Theories and Models
Series TitleStudies in Archaic and Classical Greek Song 4; Mnemosyne Supplements 428

This paper explains how the relationship between genre and performance context shifts when choral song is reperformed as sympotic monody. Using Pindar’s Paean 6 as a case study, I demonstrate that such songs may strategically engage their audiences’ sensory memories of performance and spectatorship. These memories constitute a form of “embodied cultural knowledge,” a conceptual framework that situates individual somatic experience in relation to larger social forces. I argue that Paean 6 relies upon the embodied cultural knowledge of its audience to establish the paean as a stable generic “experience” across varied performance contexts and forms. My analysis develops an understanding of archaic song genre that maintains the importance of occasion while also accounting for the richness and complexity of reperformance. []


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