Homo ludens at play with the songs of Sappho: Experiments in comparative reception theory, Part One
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2019.01.08. "Homo ludens at play with the songs of Sappho: Experiments in comparative reception theory, Part One." Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractThis essay is the first in a set of consecutive postings that will have the same title, differentiated as Part One, Part Two, and so on. The first two words in the title of each posting derive from an earlier essay, Nagy 2015.10.15, where I analyzed the theorizing of Aristotle about the human propensity to imitate. I highlighted in that essay the interest that Aristotle takes in primal attempts at imitation, which go back to the earliest phases of childhood. For Aristotle, as I pointed out, childish imitation is at the root of human playfulness. It was in the context of making this point that I had first played with the pseudo-scientific term Homo ludens. In the present context, I make use of that same term again as I proceed to focus on the playfulness I find in ancient literary creations that imitate Sappho.
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