Download e-book for kindle: The Poetics of Phantasia: Imagination in Ancient Aesthetics by Anne Sheppard

By Anne Sheppard

With a radical exam of historic perspectives of literary and inventive realism, allegory and symbolism, The Poetics of Phantasia brings jointly a examine of the ways that the idea that of mind's eye (phantasia in Greek) used to be utilized in historical aesthetics and literary theory.
The Greeks and Romans tended to consider the construction of artworks by way of imitation, both of the realm round us or of a transcendent perfect international, instead of by way of originality and creativity. examine of the way phantasia is utilized in historic writing approximately literature and artwork finds very important beneficial properties of the traditional method of the humanities and in doing so also will make clear glossy ideas of mind's eye and the literary and creative modifications among realism and allegory.
Covering various literary and philosophical fabric from the beginnings of Greek literature all the way down to the Neoplatonist philosophers of past due antiquity, The Poetics of Phantasia discusses 3 discrete senses of mind's eye in historical proposal. to begin with, phantasia as visualization is explored: while a author 'brings sooner than his eyes' what he's describing and allows his viewers or reader to visualize it likewise. the second one idea of phantasia is that that's able not just of conveying photographs from sense-perception but in addition of receiving photos from highbrow and supra-intellectual schools within the soul, and hence assisting humans grab mathematical, metaphysical or maybe mystical innovations. ultimately, phantasia is obvious as an inventive energy which may conjure up a picture that issues past itself and to specific principles outdoor our daily adventure.

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That may be why Epicurean thinkers show little interest in the mental processes of the artist and why Epicureanism had little influence on the use of the word phantasia in aesthetic contexts. The Stoics too used the word phantasia to refer to the ‘impression’ we receive when we perceive something. A passage in Diogenes Laertius’ summary of Stoic doctrines explicitly distinguishes between an impression and a ‘figment’ (phantasma): An impression (phantasia) is different from a figment (phantasma).

I have also learned a great deal over the years from my colleagues both at Royal Holloway and in the wider scholarly community and from my students. Some individuals are thanked in the chapter notes for advice on particular points, or for particular references. In addition to these I should like to thank a number of people who have suggested books and articles to me, shared their own work with me, answered questions or made comments on my project as it developed: Cosmin Andron, Franco Basso, Oleg Bychkov, Victor Caston, Stavroula Kiritsi, Peter Lautner, Dominic O’Meara, Jim Porter, Donald Russell, David Sedley, Ineke Sluiter, Carlos Steel, Suzanne Stern-Gillet, Jeremy Tanner, Tony Woodman, my daughter Sarah, and the anonymous referees who commented on my proposal for Bloomsbury Academic.

As if you were there yourself’ – Homer to Plato We may begin, as the Greeks themselves liked to do, with Homer. 489–91, trans. D. A. 3 In the fifth century BC Gorgias included in his Defence of Helen some reflections on the power of speech (logos), including poetry under that heading: Those who hear poetry feel the shudders of fear, the tears of pity, the longings of grief. Through the words, the soul experiences its own reaction to successes and misfortunes in the affairs and persons of others.

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The Poetics of Phantasia: Imagination in Ancient Aesthetics by Anne Sheppard


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