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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Classicists have contrasted the ancient lyric’s direct address to an audience with the solipsistic, meditative character of modern lyrics, in which the poet addresses himself or no one. But in accounts of romantic and post-Romantic lyrics, the figure of apostrophe or address to an absent impossible addressee, cited as an indicator of solipsism, is frequently treated as a conventional element due to a classical heritage. This chapter explores the functioning of address in canonical Greek and Latin lyrics (Pindar, Sappho, Catullus), arguing that in fact it is seldom direct but functions, as it does in modern lyrics, to produce a structure of triangulation, achieving effects of immediacy and affecting the temporality of the lyric by bringing it into a lyric present while nevertheless characteristically avoiding the modern structure of the dramatic monologue.

Keywords: rhetoric, classical, lyric, address, temporality, dramatic monologue, apostrophe, Catullus, Sappho, Pindar

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