Friday, April 14, 2017


We Forget

Elroy L. Bundy (1920-1975), Studia Pindarica (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 47-48 (II: The First Isthmian Ode):
We forget that this is an oral, public, epideictic literature dedicated to the single purpose of eulogizing men and communities; that these eulogies are concentrated upon athletic achievement; that the environment thus created is hostile to an allusiveness that would strain the powers of a listening audience, hostile to personal, religious, political, philosophical and historical references that might interest the poet but do nothing to enhance the glory of a given patron, hostile to abruptness in transitions, to gross irrelevance, to lengthy sermonizing, to literary scandals and embarrassments, hostile in short to all the characteristics of style and temper that we ascribe to Pindar.

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