The Politics of Desire

The Politics of Desire

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Propertius (ca. 54 b.c.--ca. 2 b.c.) was a Roman poet who composed four compelling books of elegies in the chaotic years surrounding Rome's transition from republic to empire. The first three of these books revolve mostly around a tormented love affair with a woman called Cynthia. The fourth book of poetry rests on more diverse subject matter and is notoriously the most opaque and elusive. In The Politics of Desire, Micaela Janan radically reassesses Propertius' last elegies, using contemporary psychoanalytic theory to illuminate these challenging texts. Janan finds that the upheaval of Rome's transformation to empire corresponds to the intellectually unsettled conditions of our own time, so that contemporary methodologies offer an uncannily suitable approach for understanding Propertius. In particular, she uses the work of Jacques Lacan, since it provides the best conceptual tools for examining the relation between political crisis and the struggles of the self, a theme that resonates in these difficult elegies. This book expands our understanding of an important Roman poet, and its innovative and sophisticated methodological approach makes a substantial contribution to feminist and psychoanalytic criticism. In addition, Janan addresses elegy's relationship to larger cultural questions, and broadens our understanding of the social crisis affecting Rome during the early empire.17). More generally, Catharine Edwards has shown that a persistent trend in Roman culture arrays vice and virtue on an ... Thomas Habinek provocatively and incisively analyzes the struggle to answer the question aquot;who is a Roman? ... and, in a special sense, the first to attain the consulate (the latter a much greater accomplishment that conferred nobilitas upon ... the exercise thereof: the essays collected by Fergus Millar and Erich Segal focus generally upon Augustusa#39; symbolic andanbsp;...


Title:The Politics of Desire
Author: Micaela Janan
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 2000-12-13
ISBN-13:

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