By Shadi Bartsch
Is Lucan's terrific and ugly epic Civil War an instance of ideological poetry at its such a lot flagrant, or is it a piece that despairingly declares the meaninglessness of
ideology? Shadi Bartsch deals a startlingly new solution to this break up debate at the Roman poet's magnum opus.
Reflecting at the disintegration of the Roman republic within the wake of the civil battle that
started in forty nine B.C., Lucan (writing in the course of the grim tyranny of Nero's Rome) recounts that fateful clash with a surprisingly ambiguous portrayal of his republican hero, Pompey. even if the
tale is one among a sad defeat, the language of his epic is extra usually violent and nihilistic than heroic and tragic. And Lucan is oddly fascinated about the photo destruction of lives, the violation of human bodies--an interest
paralleled in his deviant syntax and fragmented poetry. In an research that attracts on modern political notion starting from Hannah Arendt and Richard Rorty to the poetry of Vietnam veterans, in addition to on literary conception and
old resources, Bartsch unearths within the paradoxes of Lucan's poetry either a political irony that responds to the universally perceived desire for, but suspicion of, ideology, and a recourse to the redemptive energy of storytelling. This
sensible and energetic booklet contributes considerably to our knowing of Roman civilization and of poetry as a method of political expression.