Poetics. Longinus: On The Sublime. Demetrius: On Style
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This volume brings together the three most original and influential ancient Greek treatises on literature. Artistotle's Poetics contains his treatment of Greek tragedy: its history, nature, and conventions, with details on poetic diction. Stephen Halliwell makes this seminal work newly accessible with a reliable text and a translation that is both accurate and readable. His authoritative introduction traces the work's debt to earlier theorists (especially Plato), its distinctive argument, and the reasons behind its enduring relevance. The essay On the Sublime, usually attributed to Longinus (identity uncertain), was probably composed in the first century A.D.; its subject is the appreciation of greatness (the sublime) in writing, with analysis of illustrative passages ranging from Homer and Sappho to Plato and Genesis. In this edition, Donald Russell has judiciously revised and newly annotated the text and translation by W. Hamilton Fyfe and provides a new introduction. The treatise On Style, ascribed to an (again unidentifiable) Demetrius, was perhaps composed during the second century B.C. It seems to reflect the theoretical energy of Hellenistic rhetorical works now lost, and is notable particularly for its theory and analysis of four distinct styles (grand, elegant, plain, and forceful). Doreen Innes' fresh rendering of the work is based on the earlier Loeb translation by W. Rhys Roberts. Her new introduction and notes represent the latest scholarship.
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