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The Poetry of PathosStudies in Virgilian Epic$
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Gian Biagio Conte and S. J. Harrison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287017

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287017.001.0001

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Anatomy of a Style: Enallage and the New Sublime

Anatomy of a Style: Enallage and the New Sublime

(p.58) 3 Anatomy of a Style: Enallage and the New Sublime
The Poetry of Pathos

Gian Biagio Conte (Contributor Webpage)

S. J. Harrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the anatomy of a style, showing how the phenomenon of enallage was noted in the ancient commentators and associated with Virgil's supposed cacozelia, ‘lack of taste,’ but conversely how its defamiliarising effect actually elicits the feeling of sublimity traditionally seen in epic by critics such as Longinus. It also looks to ground the critical perceptions in detailed analysis of the epic language of the Aeneid. The chapter focuses on the characteristic Virgilian fixture of enallage, in the most common form of which two nouns exchange their expected epithets, and argues that it demonstrates the truth of Friedrich Klingner's dictum ‘maximum freedom, maximum order.’ The obvious element of poetic defamiliarisation involved here suggests clear links with the author's early interest in formalism.

Keywords:   enallage, Virgil, cacozelia, Longinus, defamiliarisation effect, Aeneid, Friedrich Klingner

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