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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter details the role of Horace’s Ars poetica in the development of a pragmatic, preceptive medieval poetics and explores how medieval rhetorical theory negotiated the fraught nature of poetic invention, a process in which all assembled parts ought to cohere. It also examines how the dire consequences anticipated by Horace’s negative precepts of composition, ones that hold up the monstrous feminine as a warning, come to condition medieval generative poetics. Medieval writers, in their efforts to embrace Horatian masculine mastery over a poetic corpus of words, sought to avoid the unsettling vices of poetic composition that would render the text transgressive and seductive. However, rather than the Horatian monstrous feminine, the dangers of hybrid invention are made manifest in the medieval ragged text whose gaping seams attest to the lack of textual mastery and integrity.

Keywords: medieval, rhetoric, poetics, Horace, Ars poetica, invention, monstrous, feminine, masculine, mastery

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