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Blanco Mayor, José Manuel
Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s >Metamorphoses<
 
Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2017, X + 381 Seiten (= Trends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes Bd. 42), EUR 109.95

Conceived as a necessary reconsideration of the pristine "elegiac question" in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this book intends to offer an analysis of the function of elegiac discourse within Ovid’s magnum opus from the perspective of metapoetics.

To that end, the author undertakes, in the first section, a close re-reading of some relevant passages of Latin love elegy. From a prism that takes into account the characteristically elegiac multivocality, the genre reveals itself as an agonistic discourse in which the poet dramatises his metaliterary power-relation with the puella, who is unveiled as the synthesis of the distinct sub-products of his poetic activity.

Thereupon, the author proceeds to scrutinise how elegiac elements are assimilated and transformed as they become integrated within the framework of Ovid’s poem of changing forms. Far from being a mere stylistic ornament, the presence of an elegiac register in many erotic passages tells us about Ovid’s stance towards love as a metapoetic trope. By reworking elegiac tradition to the point of transforming it into a novum corpus, the poet ultimately substantiates the mutability of generic categories.

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