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Book cover of Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts

Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts

by Peter T. Struck

Publisher: Princeton University Press
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780691116976






Available to Buy

Synopsis of Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts

"This is a challenging yet rewarding journey through a millenium of texts, thoughts, and interpretations. As against the defensive stance taken by most studies of ancient 'allegory,' Peter Struck gives a resolute appraisal of a persistent and accepted way of understanding literature, a method of interpretation which, in opposition to Aristotelian rhetoric, tries to get beyond the limits of the text in order to find a surplus of meaning, to achieve 'more' or 'deeper' insights. This takes him from the beginnings of Greek literature down to the Neoplatonists of Late Antiquity. For the first time, a non-mimetic approach to literary theory becomes possible: 'Divine' poetry is not secondary reproduction of material realities but is to disclose higher forms of being. Struck keeps close to the texts, presented in translation and often in the original language, too, while maintaining a high theoretical level as to language and interpretation in general. His book makes always clear and not seldom exciting reading."--Walter Burkert, author of Creation of the Sacred and Greek Religion

Derek Collins - Classical World

This book offers a remarkably comprehensive study of ancient symbolic interpretation from the Pre-Socratics to the later Neoplatonists and beyond.

About the Author, Peter T. Struck

Peter T. Struck is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a fellow at the National Humanities Center.

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