Cédric Scheidegger Lämmle (2015)

Ille ego

. The Politics of Works in Ancient Literature

The dissertation project grew out of the SNF-funded project "Das corpus Ovidianum. Werkpolitik in augusteischer Zeit" (http://p3.snf.ch/project-131991). There, the aim was to shed light on the connections and lines of communication between the works of the Augustan poet Ovid and to trace how a literary œuvre in the emphatic sense is constituted in his poems, whereas the project "Ille ego. Werkpolitik in der antiken Literatur" (Ille ego. The Politics of Works in Ancient Literature) asks more fundamentally about the idea of the literary œuvre and its significance for the literary enterprise of antiquity.
Based on a reading of the works of Hesiod as well as the 'autobibliographies' of Galen and Augustine, a theory is developed that explains the literary œuvre from the interaction between discourses of authorship, autobiography, and the historically specific conditions of literary communication. In the discussion of currently discussed theoretical concepts such as paratextuality, career criticism, 'work politics' and 'estate poetics', the idea of the literary œuvre is located at the boundary between 'inside' and 'outside': where the relations between author-persona and historical author, between literature and lifeworld are questioned.
Against this background, literary works of Roman authors of the late Republic and the early Principate are examined (Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Ovid). The thesis is pursued that not least the upheavals in the literary business of this period, especially the establishment of the city Roman libraries, had brought about a growing awareness and increased attention to the importance of the œuvre among authors, critics and readers, which can be grasped in the poetics of literary works. It is shown that this specific density of reflection in late Republican and Augustan literature is capable of uncovering fundamental mechanisms of literary communication.

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