When the ear gets an earful : metapoetic connotations audible in Persius' satiric programme

Název: When the ear gets an earful : metapoetic connotations audible in Persius' satiric programme
Zdrojový dokument: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2022, roč. 27, č. 1, s. 29-41
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Článek

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The literary-critical force of the ear(s)-motif in Persius' satiric programme has long been detected. My article moves further to consider the 'asexuality' of the ear(s) in Satire 1, while it completes the picture with the 'mimetic' acoustic dimension of the Prologue. In the Prologue, the poetasters of the contemporary literary scene find themselves in the state of a passive listener, not any different from talking-mimicking birds (parrots and magpies) duplicating exactly what they hear. Venal poets write for a living, so they are 'all ears' in order to fill their bellies. In an analogous way, the ear is also the medium for the reception of ethereal inspiration during an encounter with a divine inspirer. In Satire 1, the sensitivity of the ear(s) to being aroused by the sounds of poetry is crucial. To investigate this issue, I analyse a scene representing listeners driven to orgasm. The scene is almost pornographic; the muddle involves poetry together with sex. The sounds of poetry, conceived as an alternative erect penis, do not penetrate the ear(s) of the audience for they are either diseased or clogged, somehow, but rather, the audience's only open and receptive body orifice, which is their anus.
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