Advertisement

From Album Alitem to Black Swan: Horace and Aronofsky on Poetic Perfection and Death

  • Ricardo ApostolEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The New Antiquity book series (NANT)

Abstract

The film Black Swan (2010) and its ancient counterpart, Horace Odes 2.20, are closely bound by their themes and imagery—the promise of artistic immortality, the search for perfection, grisly physical transformation, the artist’s swan song, death—yet they lack a history of direct influence. This chapter attempts to bridge that gap by arguing for classical reception as a branch of reception studies, and thus shifting the focus from author to audience. Reconceptualizing both works as objects of interpretation in the reader’s mind in turn dissolves hierarchical models of “original” source texts and epigones. Having done away with the “master text” and thus restored both texts to parity, the chapter concludes with a dialectical reading that has implications for our interpretation of both works alike.

Notes

Acknowledgments

There are a number of people whose help was instrumental in developing this chapter. Among these, I owe special thanks to my co-editor Anastasia Bakogianni for her diligent work and sage advice; to Cynthia Hornbeck, whose 2011 CAMWS paper (now a published article) led to conversations about Horace and art that inspired many of the ideas expressed above; and to Cliff Robinson and Carolyn Laferriere for taking the time to read and provide excellent feedback and suggestions on an early draft.

Bibliography

  1. Barthes, Roland. (1977). Image-Music-Text. Translated by Stephen Heath. London: Fontana Press.Google Scholar
  2. Baudrillard, Jean. (1994). Simulacra and Simulation. Translated by Sheila F. Glaser. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  3. Behdad, Ali and Thomas, Dominic. (2011b). “Introduction”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 1–12. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brassier, Ray. (2007). Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction. New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryant, Levi, Srnicek, Nick and Harman, Graham, eds. (2011). The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Melbourne: re.press.Google Scholar
  6. Budelmann, Felix and Haubold, Johannes. (2008). “Reception and Tradition”. In A Companion to Classical Receptions, eds. Lorna Hardwick and Chris Stray, 13–25. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Chow, Rey. (2011). “A Discipline of Tolerance”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 15–27. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  8. Erasmo, Mario. (2006). “Birds of a Feather? Ennius and Horace Odes 2.20”, Latomus 65.2: 369–377.Google Scholar
  9. Ferris, David. 2011. “Why Compare?”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 28–45. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Fish, Stanley. (1980). Is There a Text in this Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fraenkel, Eduard. (1957). Horace. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gadamer, Hans-Georg. (2004). Truth and Method. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  13. Gikandi, Simon. (2011). “Contested Grammars: Comparative Literature, Translation, and the Challenge of Locality”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 254–272. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Gourgouris, Stathis. (2011). “The Poiein of Secular Criticism”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 75–87. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hall, Edith. (2008). “Putting the Class into Classical Reception”. In A Companion to Classical Receptions, eds. Lorna Hardwick and Chris Stray, 386–397. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  16. Hardwick, Lorna. (2003). Reception Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hardwick, Lorna and Stray, Christopher, eds. (2008). A Companion to Classical Receptions. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  18. Harman, Graham. (2005). Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things. Chicago and LaSalle, IL: Open Court.Google Scholar
  19. Hayot, Eric. (2011). “Vanishing Horizons: Problems in the Comparison of China and the West”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 88–107. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Iser, Wolfgang. (1978). The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Jacobson, Howard. (1995). “Horace’s Voladictory: Carm. 2.20”, CQ 45.2: 573–574.Google Scholar
  22. Jauss, Hans-Robert. (1982). Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Translated by Timothy Bahti. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kallendorf, Craig W., ed. (2007). A Companion to the Classical Tradition. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  24. Kosík, Karel. (1967). Die Dialektik des Konkreten. Translated by Marianne Hoffmann. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  25. Martindale, Charles. (2007). “Reception”. In A Companion to the Classical Tradition, ed. Craig W. Kallendorf, 297–311. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mason, H. A. (1988). “Is Martial a Classic?”, The Cambridge Quarterly XVII 4: 297–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Melas, Natalie. (1995). “Versions of Incommensurability”, World Literature Today 69.2: 275–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Melas, Natalie. (2007). All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mellaissoux, Quentin. (2008). After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  30. Nisbet, R. G. M. and Hubbard, Margaret. (1978). A Commentary on Horace Odes Book II. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  31. Page, Thomas E. (1895). Q. Horatii Flacci Carminum Libri IV Epoden Liber. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Palumbo-Liu, David. (2011). “Method and Congruity: The Odious Business of Comparative Literature”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 46–59. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  33. Porter, James I. (2008). “Reception Studies: Future Prospects”. In A Companion to Classical Receptions, eds. Lorna Hardwick and Chris Stray, 469–481. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. Said, Edward W. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  35. Saussy, Haun. (2011). “Comparisons, World Literature, and the Common Denominator”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 60–64. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  36. Schein, Seth L. (2008). “‘Our Debt to Greece and Rome’: Canon, Class and Ideology”. In A Companion to Classical Receptions, eds. Lorna Hardwick and Chris Stray, 75–85. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  37. Stray, Chris. (2007). “Education”. In A Companion to the Classical Tradition, ed. Craig W. Kallendorf, 5–14. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Surin, Kenneth. (2011). “Comparative Literature in America: Attempt at a Genealogy”. In A Companion to Comparative Literature, eds. Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, 65–72. Malden, MA and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Thévenaz, Olivier. (2002). “Le cygne de Venouse: Horace et la métamorphose d l’Ode 2.20”, Latomus 61.4: 861–888.Google Scholar
  40. Wellek, Rene. (1963). “The Crisis in Comparative Literature”. In Concepts of Criticism: Essays, ed. Stephen G. Nichols, 282–295. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  41. West, David. (1998). Horace Odes II. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  42. Woodman, Tony. (2002). “Biformis Vates: The Odes, Catullus and the Greek Lyric”. In Traditions and Contexts in the Poetry of Horace, eds. Tony Woodman and Denis Feeney, 53–64. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Žižek, Slavoj. (2006). The Parallax View. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George SchoolNewtownUSA

Personalised recommendations