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The Effect of the Echo. A Text Linguistic Approach to Catullus Carmen 63

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image of Mnemosyne

A text linguistic analysis of the narrative structure of Catullus 63 attempts, in the first half of this paper, to provide a better insight into the extraordinary nature of this poem as a narrative. On the basis of this analysis it is observed that the 'narrative event structure' is in fact subservient to what is called the 'thematic structure' of the poem, in which the devices of contrast and repetition play an essential role. The second half of the article elaborates on the all-pervasive use of repetition in the poem and the implications of this observation for its interpretation, leading up to the conclusion that in Catullus 63 repetition is a theme (or aim) in itself.


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