Pliny the Lover: by the book

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_5CB3D3C402E4
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Pliny the Lover: by the book
Journal
Museum Helveticum
Author(s)
Centlivres Challet Claude-Emmanuelle
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2018
Volume
75:2
Pages
155-168
Language
english
Abstract
This article proposes to re-examine what purposes the letters of Pliny the Younger to and about his wife Calpurnia serve in Pliny's quest for lasting fame. It shows that from their hybrid genre of elegiac epistolography to their seemingly intimate themes, these letters' form and content have aims that go beyond flaunting Pliny's perfect private and public life and his numerous talents, and that his writing to an absent wife is as much a pretext as a perfect backdrop to convey messages about himself and about his prose. This article concludes that Pliny stages himself as a lover to show his readers, by a mirror effect, how they should love him, and that his wife's behaviour and their conjugal relationship are ultimately transmuted into templates for the ideal reader's behaviour and the ideal relationship between Pliny and his readership.
Keywords
Pliny the Younger, Calpurnia, conjugal relationship, author's persona, readership, gender studies, epistolography, Roman history, Roman literature
Create date
04/06/2018 14:58
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:15
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