9781137581990

Lucretius and Modernity Epicurean Encounters Across Time and Disciplines

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781137581990

  • ISBN10:

    1137581999

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-02-10
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Summary

Lucretius's long shadow falls across the disciplines of literary history and criticism, philosophy, religious studies, classics, political philosophy, and the history of science. The best recent example is Stephen Greenblatt's popular account of the Roman poet's De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) rediscovery by Poggio Bracciolini, and of its reception in early modernity, winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Despite the poem's newfound influence and visibility, very little cross-disciplinary conversation has taken place. This edited collection brings together essays by distinguished scholars to examine the relationship between Lucretius and modernity. Key questions weave this book's ideas and arguments together: What is the relation between literary form and philosophical argument? How does the text of De rerum natura allow itself to be used, at different historical moments and to different ends? What counts as reason for Lucretius? Together, these essays present a nuanced, skeptical, passionate, historically sensitive, and complicated account of what is at stake when we claim Lucretius for modernity.

Author Biography

Jacques Lezra is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at New York University. He is the co-editor of Dictionary of Untranslatables (Princeton, 2014), and the author of Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror and the Modern Republic (Fordham, 2010), and the editor of the Northwestern University Press book series IDIOM, with Paul North.
 

Liza Blake is an Assistant Professor of English and Drama at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She has published in the journals postmedieval and SEL: Studies in English Literature, and contributed essays to Ornamentalism: The Art of Renaissance Accessories, Speculative Medievalisms: Discography, and the Palgrave Handbook of Early Modern Literature, Science, and Culture, forthcoming 2015.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Jacques Lezra and Liza Blake
PART I: WHAT IS MODERN ABOUT LUCRETIUS?
1. Michel Serres' Nonmodern Lucretius: Manifold Reason and the Temporality of Reception; Brooke Holmes
2. Lucretius and the Symptomatology of Modernism; Joseph Farrell
3. Lucretius the Physicist and Modern Science; David Konstan
PART II: WHAT IS LUCRETIAN ABOUT MODERNITY?
4. The Presence of Lucretius in Eighteenth-Century French and German Philosophy; Catherine Wilson
5. Epicureanism Across the French Revolution; Thomas M. Kavanagh
PART III: LUCRETIAN FIGURES OF MODERNITY: FREEDOM, CAUSE, TRUTH
6. How Modern Is Freedom of the Will?; Phillip Mitsis
7. On the Nature of Marx's Things; Jacques Lezra
8. All Sense-Perceptions are True: Epicurean Responses to Skepticism and Relativism; Katja Vogt
PART IV: FOLLOWING LUCRETIUS
9. From Clinamen to Conatus: Deleuze, Lucretius, Spinoza; Warren Montag
10. Notes on Leo Strauss' "Notes on Lucretius"; Alain Gigandet
11. Reflections of Lucretius in late antique and early modern Biblical and scientific poetry: Providence and the sublime; Philip Hardie

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