Dead Lovers: Erotic Bonds and the Study of Premodern Europe by Basil Dufallo, Dr. Peggy McCracken

By Basil Dufallo, Dr. Peggy McCracken

From Eurydice to Laura and past, useless fans name forth strong expressions of grief, sorrow, love, and longing. They get together mourning and different rituals and appear to be intrinsically certain up with altering rules of subjecthood itself. Dead Lovers explores the complicated attachments to the determine of the lifeless lover in Western literature, paintings, and different kinds of cultural expression from classical antiquity in the course of the heart a long time and into the early sleek period. 


By reflecting at the research of lifeless fans, those essays additionally hint the advance of subject matters and claims with regards to our personal funding in a “dead” yet eroticized prior that we search to recover. The assortment deals a sustained dialogue of the way scholarly curiosity within the illustration of loss and erotic bonds increases urgent questions on nostalgia, functionality, the function of have an effect on in highbrow paintings, and the gendered cultural values that script the outline and event of the erotic. In its specialise in loss as a domain of impact and mind's eye, Dead fanatics offers an unique and provocative contribution to the background of scholarship.


Basil Dufallo is Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin and Comparative Literature on the collage of Michigan.

Peggy McCracken is Professor of French and Women’s reviews on the college of Michigan.

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Sexti Properti opera omnia. London: Constable. Camps, W. A. 1965. Propertius: Elegies, Book IV Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clark, A. , ed. M. Tulli Ciceronis orationes. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Dimundo, R. 1990. Properzio 4, 7: Dalla variante di un modello letterario alla costante di una unitci tematica. Bari: Edipuglia. Dufallo, B. 20oo3. " Helios 30:163-79. 200oo5. " Phoenix 59:112-20o. Enk, P. J. 1957. " Miscellanea Properziana, Atti dell' Accademia Properziana del Subasio-Assisi 5 (5): 25-30.

Without claiming to be exempt, myself, from some affective relationship with this remarkable poem, I wish to call attention to the fact that scholars 24 DEAD LOVERS have focused almost exclusively on what the dead Cynthia might have meant to Propertius himself-the actual poet, that is, as (usually) identified with the poem's narrator-so as to make this relationship the model for what she should mean to us. They have, in a sense, sought to imitate Propertius in conjuring up their own dead Cynthias so as to place this figure at the center of their inter- pretations.

S28 Indeed, the potential appeal of such an act seems even to arise from con- tradiction and tension. On the one hand, Augustan audiences would have been likely to be attracted to types of literary performance that suggested republican oratory's emphasis on genealogy, with all the traditional authority that this as- pect of oratory had lent the republican orator and oratory itself. z; Suasoriae, 6 and 7). 7 has the "ritual" function of integrating past and present, the living and the dead. It does so, however, in a politically acceptable, if ambivalent, ironic, and even humorous way likely to appeal to elite Augustan audiences.

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