Orality and early Greek epic: Adrian Kelly

22 November 2023, 5.00 PM - 22 November 2023, 6.00 PM

Online (Zoom)

Prof. Adrian Kelly (Oxford), ‘How Orality Complicates Our Notion of “Sources”’

'In a largely oral poetic culture like that of Archaic Greece, the question of sources – and not only in matters of identification – is a particularly thorny one. The increasing use of intertextuality and allusion as interpretative tools for our earliest poets, as evidenced in the work of scholars like Currie, poses a welcome challenge for those of us who still think of a pre-literate dynamic between stories, poems, and songs, as a more solid methodological basis for our engagement. I propose to examine one or two cases of apparent allusion between poems of this period to suggest that talking of direct relationships between texts is a reductive strategy at best, and a misleading one at worst. But I hope also to offer a pars construens, showing how our uncertainties over literary interaction can actually open up a fruitful and meaningful process of reading or (better) reconstruction of the ancient audiences’ experience of these works.'

This event is part of a series of free, online seminars on the topic of orality and early Greek epic, hosted by Frances Pickworth and Pantelis Michelakis at the University of Bristol. To find out more about the series, including other speakers, please visit the seminar homepage.

To attend this event or other seminars in the series, please register via Zoom. Registration is free. If you have any questions about the series or problems signing up, please email Frances Pickworth at f.pickworth@bristol.ac.uk.


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