Language & Literature

(Collective Work)

2001-52630 CIP

Traditions and contexts in the poetry of Horace, ed. by Tony Woodman and Denis Feeney. Cambridge, 2002. 271p bibl index ISBN 0-521-64246-9, $60.00

Classical scholars Woodman (Univ. of Durham, UK) and Feeney (Princeton Univ.) present a dozen essays using contemporary ideas and tried-and-true exegesis for exploring Horace. Each contributor adapts and deftly applies recent theories about the writing of history, feminist literary theory, and the new classicism--avoiding neologisms, bafflegab, and faddish wordplay. The book reveals the next steps in keeping the study of Latin vibrant. The essays begin, appropriately, with Arnold Bradshaw's on ways of extracting Horace's birthday and "deathday" from Epode 1. Feeney ends the journey with a brilliant examination of Horace's Epistle to Augustus: "[the] transformations of the conditions for speech in the ever-changing Principate continued to engage the poet throughout his career, as he and his near coeval, Caesar Augustus, remade their respective traditions." Feeney, Woodman, and the other authors renew Horace criticism, showing how "Horace was uniquely sensitive to the interconnectedness of human experience, in all its aspects, and only a criticism that responds to interconnectedness can hope to begin to do him anything like justice." Including 15 pages of bibliography, this volume complements Homage to Horace, ed. by S.J. Harrison (1995), carrying readers toward future studies of Latin. If a library can buy only one new book on Horace, this should be that book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections.— R.H. Solomon, formerly, University of Alberta