Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Classical World LiteraturesSino-Japanese and Greco-Roman Comparisons$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Wiebke Denecke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199971848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199971848.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

Starting avant la lettre

Starting avant la lettre

An Essay on How to Tell the Beginnings of Literature and Eloquence

Chapter:
(p.62) Chapter 2 Starting avant la lettre
Source:
Classical World Literatures
Author(s):

Wiebke Denecke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199971848.003.0003

Beginnings differ from retrospective narratives of beginnings developed to sanction current practice. The gap between beginnings and narratives of beginnings is particularly blatant in cultures that cannot easily lay claim to independent emergence. This chapter shows how four Japanese and Latin authors developed comparable strategies to tell the beginnings of literature and eloquence in a way that allowed the indigenous tradition to compete with Chinese and Greek precedents. The first anthology of Sino-Japanese poetry, Florilegium of Cherished Airs (Kaifûsô), placed the beginning of literature in Japan at the end of a long process of civilization, but downplayed the importation of the Chinese writing system. The prefaces to the first imperial collection of vernacular poetry, Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry (Kokinwakashû), challenged this vision and replaced it, polemically, with a timeless psychology of a universal, divine “Way” of poetry. Cicero’s account of the development of Greek and Roman eloquence in the Brutus resembles the strategy of the Kaifûsô compiler. While acknowledging Roman indebtedness to Greek oratory, Cicero boldly argued for a “natural history” of Roman oratory that downplayed Greek influence. In turn, the early imperial historian Velleius Paterculus, not unlike the Kokinwakashû Prefaces, envisioned a universal psychology of literary production.

Keywords:   literary history, history of poetry, eloquence, oratory, rhetoric, Florilegium of Cherished Airs, Kaifûsô, Kokinwakashû, Cicero, Brutus, Velleius Paterculus

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .