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In the Flesh

Embodied Identities in Roman Elegy

Erika Zimmerman Damer (author)

ISBN: 9780299318703

Publication Date: Feb 2019

Format: Hardback

Engages postmodern and materialist feminist thought in readings of three significant poets writing in the early years of Rome's Augustan Principate. In their poems, they represent the flesh-and-blood body in both its integrity and vulnerability, as an index of social position along intersecting axes of sex, gender, status, and class.
£100.00

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  • Full Description
  • More Information
  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
In the Flesh deeply engages postmodern and new materialist feminist thought in close readings of three significant poets–Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid–writing in the early years of Rome's Augustan Principate. In their poems, they represent the flesh-and-blood body in both its integrity and vulnerability, as an index of social position along intersecting axes of sex, gender, status, and class. Erika Zimmermann Damer underscores the fluid, dynamic, and contingent nature of identities in Roman elegy, in response to a period of rapid legal, political, and social change.

Recognizing this power of material flesh to shape elegiac poetry, she asserts, grants figures at the margins of this poetic discourse–mistresses, rivals, enslaved characters, overlooked members of households–their own identities, even when they do not speak. She demonstrates how the three poets create a prominent aesthetic of corporeal abjection and imperfection, associating the body as much with blood, wounds, and corporeal disintegration as with elegance, refinement, and sensuality.

Reviews

Moving beyond theorizing about the textualized body in Roman elegy, and taking her cue from feminist 'new materialisms,' Zimmermann Damer reasserts the presence in elegiac poetry of bodies themselves, with all their abject materiality, genderedness, and sexiness. An impressive study that is a delight to read." - David Wray, University of Chicago

"A refreshingly new reading of Roman love elegy that brilliantly studies the flesh and blood of elegy's men and women. These bodies are not always perfect- as they resist the consummation of inscription, they often appear wounded, repulsive, and macabre. Anyone interested in Latin poetry should read this splendid book." - Ionnis Ziogas, Durham University
Illustrations 1 black & white illustration, 1 table
Pages 320
Dimensions 229 x 152 x 16
Date Published 28 Feb 2019
Publisher The University of Wisconsin Press
Series Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Subject/s Literary studies: classical, early & medieval   Ancient history: to c 500 CE   Feminism & feminist theory  
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Embodied Selves and the Body in Elegy
  • Part 1. Our Bodies, Ourselves
  • 1 Embodied Identity and the scripta puella in Propertius
  • 2 Tibullan Embodiments: Slaves, Soldiers, and the Body as Costume
  • 3 The Body in Bad Faith: Gender and Embodiment in the Amores
  • Part 2. Blood, Sex, and Tears: Problems of Embodiment in Roman Elegy
  • 4 Naked Selves: Sex, Violence, and Embodied Identities
  • 5 Body Talk: Cynthia Speaks
  • 6 Not the Elegiac Ideal: Gendering Blood, Wounds, and Gore in Roman Love Elegy
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index Locorum
  • Index
Erika Zimmermann Damer is an associate professor of classics and of women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Richmond.

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