Advertisement

International Journal of the Classical Tradition

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 183–215 | Cite as

Uses and abuses of Horace: His reception since 1935 in Germany and Anglo-America

  • Theodore Ziolkowski
Article

Abstract

The reception of Horace since the 1935 bimillennial of his birth and the political instrumentalization of his works has reflected radically different cultural situations in Germany and Anglo-America. Regarded in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) ambivalently as political lackey or escapist, Horace was largely ignored in the agenda of most West German poets. An older generation of prominent English-language poets, in contrast, rediscovered Horace in the 1960s as a challenging literary master and advocate of an engaging life style. By the 1980s younger poets felt free to compose major works of a more generally social nature assuming an acquaintance with the Roman poet. A recent outpouring of translations and adaptations, unmatched in Germany, has reasserted Horace’s presence in the contemporary literary consciousness of England and the United States.

Keywords

Classical Tradition German Democratic Republic Political Reality Lyric Poet Roman Poet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 2.
    Patric Leigh Fermor,A Time of Gifts (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 74. The story of General Kreipe’s capture is told in much greater detail by W. Stanley Moss,Ill Met by Moonlight (London: Harrap, 1950); but Moss, Fermor’s friend and fellow commando with the Cretan resistance, does not relate this particular anecdote, although he remarks that “Paddy” Fermor and the general exchanged quotations from Sophocles.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Peter Levi,Horace: A Life (New York: Routledge, 1998), 2. Levi tells the story but, curiously, reverses the roles of the two participants.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    James Joyce,A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Signet, 1954), 139 (ch. 5).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Bernhard Kytzler,Horaz: Eine Einführung (München: Artemis, 1985), 123.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    SeeHorace Made New: Horatian Influences on British Writing from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century, ed. Charles Martindale and David Hopkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); and Günther Heilbrunn, “Horace in ultima Hesperia,” in:Zeitgenosse Horaz. Der Dichter und seine Leser seit zwei Jahrtausenden, ed. Helmut Krasser and Ernst A. Schmidt (Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 1996), 344–70.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen, ed. C. Day Lewis (London: Chatto and Windus, 1963), 55.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    O. Müllereisert, “Augsburger Anekdoten um Bert Brecht,” inErinnerungen an Brecht, zusammengestellt von H. Witt (Leipzig: Philipp Reclam jun., 1964), 18; cited here by Peter Witzmann, “Bertolt Brecht, Beim Lesen des Horaz,”Das Altertum 14 (1968): 55–64.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    As recently as 1957/58, students at the University of Munich demanded (successfully!) that the same quotation be removed from a decorative window in the main hall of the university. See Werner Suerbaum,Q. Horatii Flacci Disiecti Membra Poetae (University of Munich, 1993), Beiheft 1:24. For further examples see Martin M. Winkler, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori? Classical Literature in the War Film,”International Journal of the Classical Tradition 7 (2000–2001): 177–214.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Ezra Pound, “Horace,”The Criterion 10 (1929–30); rpt. in the Horace Issue ofArion 9 (1970): 178–87.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Kytzler,Horaz, 116, points out that no writer of antiquity has been so frequently translated into German as Horace.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Theodore Ziolkowski,Virgil and the Moderns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 17–26.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    E. Castle et al.,Orazio nella letteratura mondiale (Roma: Instituto di Studi Romani, 1936).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Library Journal, 60 (April 1, 1935): 301.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    For a list of fourteen poems and discourses seeReader’s Guide to Periodical Literature 10 (1935–37): 850.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Andrew F. West, “The Genius of Horace,”American Scholar 5 (1936): 64–71.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Edward Kennard Rand,A Toast to Horace (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1937), 31; the second quotation is from page 35.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Michael Rostovtzeff, “Horace, after two thousand years,”Yale Review 26 (1936): 102–18.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Schröder completed his 1935 translation with the satires and epistles in 1952. I quote here from the text in volume five of Schröder’sGesammelte Werke in fünf Bänden (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1952).Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    See Antonio La Penna,Orazio e l’ideologia del principato (Torino: Einaudi, 1963), 13–23, who traces the use of such terms asMachtmensch andFührer in works from the 1920s by Richard Heinze, Richard Reitzenstein, and Eduard Fraenkel. While La Penna attributes no political motives to these scholars, he makes the point that their interpretations of Augustan Rome became a model for subsequent Nazi ideologists. See also Peter Lebrecht Schmidt, “Latin Studies in Germany, 1933–1945: Institutional Conditions, Political Pressures, Scholarly Consequences,” in:Texts, Ideas, and the Classics: Scholarship, Theory, and Classical Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 285–300. Howard D. Weinbrot,Augustus Caesar in “Augustan” England: The Decline of a Classical Norm (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), in contrast, shows that a more critical view of Augustus began in England as early as the 18th century.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    “Horaz als politischer Dichter” (1935), in:Gesammelte Werke, 2:178–208.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    TheIamben were not published until 1967; Rudolf Borchardt,Gedichte II/Übertragungen II, ed. Marie Luise Borchardt and Ulrich Ott (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1985), 15–61. The poem with the Horatian title “Mitte sectari,” for instance, employs a complex syntax that recreates in German with astonishing precision the sense of Horace’s style. The poem amounts to a biting attack on the corruption of language under the Nazi “analphabets.” See also Ernst A. Schmidt,Notwehrdichtung: Moderne Jambik von Chénier bis Borchardt (München: Fink, 1990), which locates Horace as the “Mitte jambischen Dichtens” (102) and claims that the history of modern Iambics ends in 1936 with Borchardt and the growing power of the Nazis.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    “Schröders Horaz,”Corona 7 (1937): 672–79; quoted fromNachworte und Abhandlungen (Stuttgart: Klett, 1959), 310–16.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    Otto Morgenstern,Horaz und der Nationalsozialismus. Eine Unterrichtsstunde vor ehem. Schülern (Berlin: printed as manuscript, 1935).Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Hans Oppermann, “Horaz als Dichter der Gemeinschaft,” in:Probleme der augusteischen Erneuerung, Auf dem Weg zum nationalpolitischen Gymnasium 6 (Frankfurt am Main: M. Diesterweg, 1938), 61–75. See also Oppermann, “Horaz—Dichtung und Staat,” inDas Neue Bild der Antike, ed. Helmut Berve, vol. 2:Rom (Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1942), 265–295, esp. 267–69, reprinted inRömertum: Ausgewählte Aufsätze und Arbeiten aus den Jahren 1921 bis 1961, ed. Hans Oppermann, Wege dder Forschung 18 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1962), 244–277, esp. 246–47.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Alfred Hauser, “Die Oden des Horaz im Unterricht,”Das humanistische Gymnasium 47 (1936): 1–10; here 1–2.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    Hugo Schaefer, “Horaz und Vergil im Dritten Reich,”Das humanistische Gymnasium 47 (1936): 204–09.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Carl Koch, “Der Zyklus der Römeroden,”Neue Jahrbücher für Antike und deutsche Bildung 4 (1941): 62–83.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    For a quick comparative overview see Michael von Albrecht,Geschichte der römischen Literatur (Bern: Francke, 1992), 1:581–86 (“Fortwirken”); and his “Horaz und die europäische Literatur,”Gymnasium 102 (1995): 289–304.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Kytzler,Horaz, 124–26. On English-language scholarship see Don Fowler, “Images of Horace in Twentieth-Century Scholarship,” in:Horace Made New (above, n. 6),Horatian Influences on British Writing from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century, ed. Charles Martindale and David Hopkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 268–76.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    The same principle applies, of course, to the reception of many other writers. See Theodore Ziolkowski,Virgil and the Moderns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), andOvid and the Moderns (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005).Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    On characteristic differences in the scholarly reception of Horace see Ernst Doblhofer,Horaz in der Forschung nach 1957, Erträge der Forschung 279 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1992), 3–6.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    J. B. Leishman,Translating Horace. Thirty Odes translated into the original metres with… an Introductory and Critical Essay (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer, 1956).Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    On East German poets see especially Volker Riedel, “Zwischen Ideologie und Kunst: Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller und Fragen der modernen Horaz-Forschung,” in his:Literarische Antikerezeption: Aufsätze und Vorträge, Jenaer Studien 2 (Jena: Bussert, 1996), 295–310.Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    See Peter Witzmann, “Bertolt Brecht, Beim Lesen des Horaz,”Das Altertum 14 (1968): 55–64; and Wolfgang Ries, “Bukolik in Buckow? Brecht, Horaz und die Bedingungen künstlerischen Schaffens,”Das Altertum 22 (1976): 186–89.Google Scholar
  35. 36.
    For further examples see Peter Witzmann,Antike Tradition im Werk Bertolt Brechts, Lebendiges Altertum 15 (Berlin, 1964); and L. R. Lind, “Bertolt Brecht and the Latin Classics,”Classical and Modern Literature 8 (1988): 265–73.Google Scholar
  36. 37.
    Bertolt Brecht,Gesammelte Werke in 20 Bänden (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1967), 10:869–70.Google Scholar
  37. 38.
    For a different view see Michael Morely, “Brecht’s ‘Beim Lesen des Horaz’: An Interpretation,”Monatshefte für deutschen Unterricht 63 (1971), 372–79.Google Scholar
  38. 39.
    Quoted in Ries: 186.Google Scholar
  39. 40.
    Quoted from volume 8 of Günter Grass,Werkausgabe in zehn Bänden, ed. Volker Neuhaus (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1987).Google Scholar
  40. 41.
    Heiner Müller,Werke, ed. Frank Hörnigk, 7 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1998–2004), 1.19. For the original titles see Volker Riedel,Antikerezeption in der deutschen Literatur vom Renaissance-Humanismus bis zur Gegenwart. Eine Einführung (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2000), 354.Google Scholar
  41. 42.
    Hartmut Lange,Theaterstücke 1960–72, (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1973), 307–41.Google Scholar
  42. 43.
    Karl Mickel,Odysseus in Ithaka. Gedichte 1957–1974, (Leipzig: Reclam, 1976), 68.Google Scholar
  43. 44.
    , 395: “eine(verschlüsselte) Hommage an Horaz.” In the anthologyUnterm Sternbild des Hercules. Antikes in der Lyrik der Gegenwart, ed. Bernd Seiden-sticker and Peter habermehl (Frankfurt am Main: Insel, 1996), 70, the poem is included among the five Horace-poems.Google Scholar
  44. 45.
    Karl Krolow,Gesammelte Gedichte (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1975), 2: 119.Google Scholar
  45. 46.
    Günter Eich,Gesammelte Werke, (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1973), 1: 201.Google Scholar
  46. 47.
    I have not seen this collection, which I quote from Bernd Seidensticker, “Non omnis moriar: Zur 27. November 1993,”Der altsprachliche Unterricht 36/6 (November 1993), 6–11; here 8.Google Scholar
  47. 48.
    Christoph Meckel,Ungefähr ohne Tod im Schatten der Bäume. Ausgewählte Gedichte (München: Hanser, 2003), 82.Google Scholar
  48. 49.
    The proceedings were published under the titleZeitgenosse Horaz: Der Dichter und seine Leser seit zwei Jahrtausenden.Google Scholar
  49. 50.
    Q. Horatii Flacci Disiecti Membra Poetae (Universität München, 1993), Beihefte 1: Katalog zur Ausstellung; 2: Materialien Kommentare Essays; 3: Bilder zu Horaz; 4: Texte und Publikationen zur Horaz-Rezeption in der Neuzeit.Google Scholar
  50. 51.
    , 6–11. Seidensticker cites most of the poems discussed in the preceding pages.Google Scholar
  51. 52.
    Ernst A. Schmidt,Sabinum: Horaz und sein Landgut im Licenzatal. Vorgetragen am 27. November 1993, Schriften der Philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften 1 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1997).Google Scholar
  52. 53.
    Eckard Lefèvre.Horaz. Dichter im augusteischen Rom (München: Beck, 1993).Google Scholar
  53. 54.
  54. 55.
    “Aporie Augustinus (Über die Zeit),” in: Durs Grünbein,Nach den Satiren (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1999), 35.Google Scholar
  55. 56.
    Manfred Fuhrmann, “Juvenal—Barbier—Grünbein. Über den römischen Satiriker und zwei seiner tätigen Bewunderer,”Text+Kritik 153 (January 2002): 60–67; and Michael von Albrecht, “Nach den Satiren: Durs Grünbein und die Antike,” in:Mythen in nachmythischer Zeit. Die Antike in der deutschsprachigen Literatur der Gegenwart, ed. Bernd Seidensticker and Martin Vöhler (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2002), 101–16.Google Scholar
  56. 57.
    “Was ich den Alten verdanke,” inGötzen-Dämmerung; in Friedrich Nietzsche,Werke in drei Bänden, ed. Karl Schlechta (München: Hanser, 1955) 2: 1027.Google Scholar
  57. 58.
    , 158–63.Google Scholar
  58. 59.
    L. R. Lind, “Robert Frost, Classicist,”Classical and Modern Literature 1 (1980): 7–23. See also John Talbot, “Robert Frost’s Hendecasyllabics and Roman Rebuttals,”International Journal of the Classical Tradition 10 (2003–2004): 73–84.Google Scholar
  59. 60.
    The Poetry of Robert Frost, ed. Edward Connery Lathem (New York: Henry Holt, 1979).Google Scholar
  60. 61.
    See, for instance, Lawrance Thompson,Robert Frost: The Years of Triumph 1915–1938 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), 231.Google Scholar
  61. 62.
    Heilbrunn, “Horace in ultima Hesperia”Google Scholar
  62. 63.
    Noel Annan,Our Age: English Intellectuals between the World Wars—A Group Portrait, (New York: Random House, 1990), 213.Google Scholar
  63. 64.
    , 134–41.Google Scholar
  64. 65.
    Cyril Connolly,The Unquiet Grave: A World Cycle by Palinurus, rev. ed. (New York: Persea, 1981).Google Scholar
  65. 66.
    Lawrence Durrell.Collected Poems (London: Faber and Faber, 1960), 166–68.Google Scholar
  66. 67.
    Alfred Noyes,Horace: A Portrait (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1947).Google Scholar
  67. 68.
    The Odes of Horace, trans. James Michie, new edition 1987 (London: Folio Society, 1987), 13.Google Scholar
  68. 69.
    See Ronald Edward Thomas,The Latin Masks of Ezra Pound (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1983), 117–39, for a complete catalogue of Pound’s allusions to Horace.Google Scholar
  69. 70.
    Confucius to Cummings: An Anthology of Poetry, ed. Ezra Pound and Marcella Spann (New York: New Directions, 1964), 35–37.Google Scholar
  70. 71.
    Daniel M. Hooley,The Classics in Paraphrase: Ezra Pound and Modern Translators of Latin Poetry (Cranbury: Associated University Presses, 1984), 121.Google Scholar
  71. 72.
    Charles Tomlinson, “Some Aspects of Horace in the Twentieth Century,” in hisMetamorphoses: Poetry and Translation (Manchester: Carcanet, 2003), 41–60; first published in 1993 inHorace Made New (above, n. 6).Google Scholar
  72. 73.
    Bunting’s three translations of Horace are reprinted in the section called “Overdrafts” in hisCollected Poems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), 128–29, 138.Google Scholar
  73. 74.
    In a conversation cited by Victoria Forde,The Poetry of Basil Bunting (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1991), 118.Google Scholar
  74. 75.
    David Gordon, “A Northumbrian Sabine,”Paideuma 9 (1980): 83.Google Scholar
  75. 76.
    The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice, ed. E. R. Dodds (London: Faber, 1966), 539–43.Google Scholar
  76. 77.
    C.H. Sisson, “Deniable Evidence: Translating Horace,” in, 258–67.Google Scholar
  77. 78.
    C. H. Sisson,Collected Poems 1943–1983 (Manchester: Carcanet, 1984), 132–33.Google Scholar
  78. 79.
    C. H. Sisson,Collected Translations (Manchester: Carcanet, 1996), 299–325.Google Scholar
  79. 80.
    Monroe K. Spears, “A Sabine Farm near Kirchstetten,”The Yale Review 60 (1970): 90–96.Google Scholar
  80. 81.
    W. H. Auden,Thank You, Fog. Last Poems (London: Faber, 1974), 39–40.Google Scholar
  81. 82.
    W. H. Auden,The Collected Poetry (New York: Random House, 1966).Google Scholar
  82. 83.
    W. H. Auden,City without Wall and Other Poems (New York: Random House, 1969), 26–28.Google Scholar
  83. 84.
  84. 85.
    Steven Gould Axelrod,Robert Lowell. Life and Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 34 and 245. See also William Doreski, “Dante and the Roman Poets in Robert Lowell’sHistory,”Modern Language Studies 18 (1988): 47–59.Google Scholar
  85. 86.
    Robert Lowell,Near the Ocean (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1967). The Horace translations are found on 57–66.Google Scholar
  86. 87.
    “Horace in ultima Hesperia,” (above, n. 6), in:, 365–66.Google Scholar
  87. 88.
    Robert Lowell,History (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1973), 44.Google Scholar
  88. 89.
    Eight years later Twombly issued another portfolio—this one containing sixty items illustratingSix Latin Writers and Poets 1976, of whom one was Horace. See Heiner Bastian,Cy Twombly. Das graphische Werk 1953–1984: A catalogue raisonné of the printed graphic work (München/New York: NYU Press, 1985), 48–51 and 81.Google Scholar
  89. 90.
    The Complete Works of Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus). Translated in the meters of the originals, with notes, trans. Charles E. Passage (New York: Ungar, 1983), vii.Google Scholar
  90. 91.
    The Essential Horace, trans. Burton Raffel. With a foreword and an afterword by W. R. Johnson (San Francisco: North Point, 1983), xv.Google Scholar
  91. 92.
    D.S. Carne-Rosse, “Horacescope,”The New York Review of Books 31 (May 10, 1984), 7–8.Google Scholar
  92. 93.
    Anthony Hecht,The Venetian Vespers; rpt.Collected Earlier Poems (New York: Knopf, 1990), 208.Google Scholar
  93. 94.
  94. 95.
    Robert Pinsky,An Explanation of America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), 31–40.Google Scholar
  95. 96.
    See Heilbrunn, “Horace in ultima Hesperia”, 367–68.Google Scholar
  96. 97.
    Alistair Elliot,On the Appian Way (London: Secker & Warburg, 1984).Google Scholar
  97. 98.
    Ekkehard Stärk, “Wallfahrten auf der Appischen Straße—Das Iter Brundisinum und der Tourismus”, inZeitgenosse Horaz, 371–91.Google Scholar
  98. 99.
    It is included in the “Coda” ofHorace in English and quoted by Tomlinson,Metamorphoses, 51–52.Google Scholar
  99. 100.
    Donald Davie,Collected Poems 1970–1983 (Manchester: Carcanet, 1983), 447–48 and 466.Google Scholar
  100. 101.
    Donald Hall,The Museum of Clear Ideas, (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1993), 41–99.Google Scholar
  101. 102.
    Joseph Brodsky,On Grief and Reason. Essays (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1995), 428–58. Cf., most recently, Timothy Hofmeister, “Joseph Brodsky’s Roman Body”,International Journal of the Classical Tradition 12 (2005–2006): 81–93.Google Scholar
  102. 103.
    Tomlinson,Metamorphoses 41.Google Scholar
  103. 104.
    The Odes of Horace. A Translation by David Ferry (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997). Four years later Ferry also publishedThe Epistles of Horace (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001).Google Scholar
  104. 105.
    D. S. Carne Ross, review inThe New Criterion 16 (1998): 56–59.Google Scholar
  105. 106.
    Bernard Knox, review inThe New York Review of Books 45 (June 11, 1998): 46–49.Google Scholar
  106. 107.
    These are not the only recent translations. The journalLiterary Imagination 4/3 (Fall 2002), for instance, contains translations ofSatires 1.1 by John Svarlien (322–29) and of five odes by Elizabeth Jones (342–51) as well as a thoughtful review by Mary Maxwell ofHorace in English, David Ferry’sThe Odes of Horace, and Sidney Alexander’sThe Complete Odes and Satires of Horace (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  107. 108.
    According to a letter from J. D. McClatchy of April 17, 2005. See McClatchy’s “Translating from the Ancient: Old Wine,”Literary Imagination 5 (2003): 186–92, which illuminatingly compares his own translation ofOde 2.7 with those by Ferry, Michie, and Lowell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. 109.
    Horace: The Odes. New Translations by Contemporary Poets, ed. J. D. McClatchy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  109. 110.
    In fact the story goes on.Oxford Magazine (No. 237, Trinity Term 2005) contains a poem by Maureen Almond entitled “Trafalgar Street Men”, which is based closely—and humorously—onEpode 2 (Beatus ille).Google Scholar
  110. 111.
    Theodore Ziolkowski, “Seneca—A New German Icon?”,International Journal of the Classical Tradition 11 (2004–2005): 47–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Ziolkowski
    • 1
  1. 1.PrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations