Visual Aspects of Interpreting Horace's lyric

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Using the example of Horace’s lyrics, the article discusses the
interaction between the visual and the linguistic in a literary work. In the introduction we raise the question whether it is possible to use the concepts of ‘focus’ and ‘background’ for describing the structure of a literary text, be it a whole poem (Epod. 2) or single passages where the shift of focus emphasizes a detail, e. g. in an enumeration (Carm. 1, 15, 11-–12).
Then, three passages are considered where the interpretation can be helpfully based on visual experience. The epithet flavus describing Tiber (Carm. 1, 2, 13 a. o.) is an epitheton ornans and is hardly a euphemism; the combination alta nive in Carm. 1, 9, 1–2, means rather ‘deep’ snow, as one can judge after a glance at the shape of Monte Soratte, described by Horace; the adjective vitreus (Carm. 1, 17, 20 a. o.) used by the authors of
the 1st cent. BC depicts the mould-pressed glass of that period and means ‘glittering’ rather than colour qualities – ‘blue’, ‘greenish’, ‘semitransparent’ – typically referred to in later works.
Translated title of the contributionВизуальный аспект интерпретации лирики Горация
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-319
JournalИндоевропейское языкознание и классическая филология
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
EventИндоевропейское языкознание и классическая филология (Чтения памяти И.М.Тронского - Институт лингвистических исследований РАН, Санкт-Петербург, Russian Federation
Duration: 24 Jun 201926 Jun 2019
Conference number: 23


  • focus/background concept
  • Horace
  • Latin color epithets
  • 1st book of Odes by Horace
  • poem structure

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