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The Sublime Seneca
Ethics, Literature, Metaphysics

$112.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107090019

$ 112.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This is an extended meditation on ethics in literature across the Senecan corpus. There are two chapters on the Moral Letters, asking how one is to read philosophy or how one can write about being. Moving from the Letters to the Natural Questions and Dialogues, Professor Gunderson explores how authorship works at the level both of the work and of the world, the ethics of seeing, and the question of how one can give up on the here and now and behold instead some other, better ethical sphere. Seneca's tragedies offer words of caution: desire might well subvert reason at its most profound level (Phaedra), or humanity's painful separation from the sublime might be part of some cruel divine plan (The Madness of Hercules). The book concludes by considering what, if anything, we are to make of Seneca's efforts to enlighten us.

    • Examines Seneca's prose and poetry as part of the same enterprise rather than separately, as tends to happen
    • Explores a variety of philosophical works together rather than in isolation, including the Moral Letters, Natural Questions, and select Dialogues
    • Provides a literary reading of Seneca's philosophy and a philosophical reading of his poetry
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107090019
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Misreading Seneca
    2. Writing metaphysics
    3. The nature of Seneca
    4. The spectacle of ethics
    5. Losing Seneca
    6. The analytics of desire
    7. The last monster
    Conclusion: the metaphysics of Senecan morals.

  • Author

    Erik Gunderson, University of Toronto
    Erik Gunderson is Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto. He is the author of four other scholarly monographs: Laughing Awry: Plautus and Tragicomedy (2014); Nox Philologiae: Aulus Gellius and the Fantasy of the Ancient Library (2009); Declamation, Paternity and Roman Identity: Authority and the Rhetorical Self (2003); and Staging Masculinity: The Rhetoric of Performance in the Roman World (2000). He is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Rhetoric (2009). His work spans languages, genres and eras, and he consistently brings to bear modern critical perspectives when exploring the ancient world.

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