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Chapter . Critical Pluralities: Iambikē Poiēsis in the Start and Stop of the Ars Poetica

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Chapter Summary

The casting of blame at the opening and closing of the Ars signals the principal contrast between good and bad poetry, the unifying precis of the letter. The "younger" versus "older" Horace, however, is not a stable characterization, especially if it is politicized into "unaccomodated"/" accommodated." The maturing Horace gives up the satire/iambic of his younger days and turns to lyric, he writes his satire into the more congenial form of the epistle. Horace's literary criticism aligns with his iambic praxis because it depends on and constructs pluralities. The opening of the Ars places on view not one but two distorted images: the centaur-fish-nymph and Horace himself, an artistic composer-turned-public spectacle. Horace is assuming that an artist on themost pragmatic level cares about keeping his audience in their seats and from laughing at him. Horace is a stereotypical artist in one way: he is sensitive to criticism.

Keywords:Ars Poetica; critical pluralities; Horace



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