The University of Wisconsin Press | Fall 2013 - page 35

“Accords much needed and long overdue attention to the many and
arresting references in the Catullan poetic corpus to oral activity: from the
lips and teeth to the throat and larynx, both with and without sound.”
—Judith P. Hallett, University of Maryland, College Park
Both passionate and artful, learned and bawdy, Catullus is one of the best-known
and critically significant poets from classical antiquity. An intriguing aspect of
his poetry that has been neglected by scholars is his interest in silence, from the
pauses that shape everyday conversation to linguistic taboos and cultural sup-
pressions and the absolute silence of death.
Silence in Catullus
, Benjamin Eldon Stevens offers fresh readings of this
Roman poet’s most important works, focusing on his purposeful evocations
of silence. This deep and varied “poetics of silence” takes on many forms in
Catullus’s poetic corpus: underscoring the lyricism of his poetry; highlighting
themes of desire, immortality-in-culture, and decay; accenting its structures
and rhythms; and, Stevens suggests, even articulating underlying philosophies.
Combining classical philological methods, contemporary approaches to silence
in modern literature, and the most recent Catullan scholarship, this imaginative
examination of Catullus offers a new interpretation of one of the ancient world’s
most influential and inimitable voices.
Benjamin Eldon Stevens
is assistant professor of classics
at Bard College.
 LC: 2013010420 PA
296 PP. 6 × 9
E-BOOK $24.95 S ISBN 978-0-299-29663-6
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Laura
McClure, and Mark Stansbury-
O’Donnell, General Editors
Of re l at ed int e re s t
Translated and with commentary
by David Mulroy
“Mulroy’s is a marvelous contribution to
Catullus translations and studies. Catullus’s
angry or comic (sometimes both) poems
directed at the movers and shakers of his
era are rendered here with wit and Roman
realism, and the famous love poems to Les-
bia are charming and immediate.”—Kelly
Cherry, author of
Rising Venus: Poems
LC: 2001005832 PA 160 PP. 6 × 9
E-BOOK $9.99 X ISBN 978-0-299-17773-7
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
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