Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts by Peter T. Struck
Almost all of us studied poetry and studied to search for the symbolic meaning and literal meaning of the text. Is this how the ancients saw the hair out? In…
Birth of the Symbol synopsis
Almost all of us studied poetry and studied to search for the symbolic meaning and literal meaning of the text. Is this how the ancients saw the hair out? In the birth of the symbol, Peter Struck explores critics and contemporaries of ancient Greek literature who invented the idea of the poetic "symbol". The book indicates that Aristotle and his followers did not discuss the use of poetic symbolism.
Instead, a different group of Greek thinkers - who follow the descriptions - developed the idea first. Struck extensively reconsidered the work of great augustorists, which had been underestimated.
Their interest in symbolism relates to the importance of divination and magic in antiquity, and shows how important symbolism is when they think of religion and philosophy. "They see the great poetic language all profoundly metaphorical, with the potential always, even in the most mundane details, to be shipped with hidden messages." The birth of the symbol offers a new understanding of the role of poetry in the life of ideas in ancient Greece.
Moreover, it shows a link between the way we understand poetry and the way it was understood by important thinkers in antiquity.
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