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Ovid And The Medieval Exilic Imaginary

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on the medieval centuries, the name of Ovid as the exemplary banished poet lived on to be evoked by authors from du Bellay, Goethe, Grillparzer and Pushkin to Marx, Verlaine, Brecht and Brodsky. Ovid is never more seductive than when enticing readers into the successive books of Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, precisely when a potential reader might be debating whether he or she should unroll yet another scroll of poetry. It highlights the remoteness, even exoticism of his place of exile; the distance that separates him from Rome; his status as an exile; the book must traverse the intervening space; or some combination of these elements. Ovid acclaims his own lack of mastery at the opening of subsequent books as well, but it is when one thinks of the power dynamic between banishing princeps and banished poet that this topic becomes most interesting.

Keywords: Epistulae ex Ponto; exile; medieval centuries; Ovid; Rome; Tristia



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