2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Classical Nontraditionalism: The Relationship Between Catullus and Modernist Poetry
David J. Giovagnoli
Dr. Bridget Thomas, Faculty Mentor

Although we view Modernist poetry as very experimental and innovative, it is clearly influenced by Classical poetry. This is true both superficially, such as in T.S. Eliots The Wasteland, but also on a deeper level. For instance, during the closing days of the Roman Republic, Catullus was composing poems that, like the Modernists, eschewed traditional poetic style, dealt with personal themes, and discussed themes of metaliterature. Catullus chose to write about everyday situations, rather than grand adventure themes, similar to the way that the Modernists rejected Realism, Romanticism, and the Enlightenment. Specifically, his Carmen 50 to C. Licinius Calvus discusses an afternoon of close companionship and poetry writing, in a style that is playfully ambiguous and very personal. This paper will analyze critically the stylistic and ideological link between Catullus, primarily with Carmen 50 as an example, and Modernist poets such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

Keywords: Classics, Catullus, Modernism, Latin Poetry, Poetry, Metaliterature

Topic(s):Classics
English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 14-4
Location: VH 1324
Time: 8:45

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