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Descriptivity and narrativity: Virgil's idylls

Grant number: 11/06855-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 12, 2012
Effective date (End): May 11, 2012
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Literatures
Principal researcher:Paulo Martins
Grantee:Paulo Martins
Host: Martin Dinter
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: King's College London, England  

Abstract

The genre idyll has a fundamentally visual character: it is not by chance that its name, whether it is earlier or later than Vergil, has the same etymology as eidos, "image" and "eidolon", "mental image". The bucolic matter is part of the idylls of the Greek authors (Theocritus, Moscus and Bion), but not in Vergil, in which it is present in all of the poems of the genre which now receives the name "bucolic". In sum, if in the Greek authors it is not possible to identify idyll with bucolic, in Vergil, they coincide. In Vergil, thus, bucolic poetry is a poetic genre whose core is visuality or the visualization of that which is verbally operated; so, it can be considered as the "painting that speaks", to paraphrase Simonides. Visuality has an essential and fundamental relationship with the rhetoric-poetic precepts that guide the ekphrasis, which in a broad sense can be understood as a description. In fact, ékphrasis intends to produce enárgeia, which is, vividness of the description. Such descriptive quality, which can be rhetorically understood as a virtue of elocution, is a textual element particularly strategic because it gives movement to static elements of an image, that is, it transforms, in an image, that which is static in kinetic and so, unites description, whose matter in principle are only objects and scenes, to narration, whose matter are actions and events. Due to enargeia, description, which then will be ekphrastic, differs from mere description of static objects. So, this research, besides verifying the stylistic markers of ekphrasis of Vergil's Bucolics, aims to indicate the specific linguistic characteristics of this description which tends to narration. (AU)

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