Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho

Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho

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The lyrics of Sappho are the earliest surviving examples of explicitly homoerotic literature and have often been analyzed in terms of their revelations about the island society of Lesbos. This volume examines Sappho's poetry through the lens of lesbian desire. It focuses on the active female gaze in the texts and the narrative voice - one that describes female experience and desires as primary, not secondary to the dominant (male) culture. The book provides close readings of the surviving examples of Sappho's poetry, occasionally presenting comparative material from other ancient Greek poets. In addition, a complete transliteration of the Greek verse is intended to enhance the reader's understanding of the original sound and rhythm of the texts. Sappho's influence on a number of lesbian poets, including Amy Lowell, H.D. and Olga Broumas. The text includes an appendix of the original Greek poetry.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 278 pages
  • 154.43 x 233.43 x 18.03mm | 412.77g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0231099959
  • 9780231099950

Review quote

"What emerges in this careful and engaging study is an explication of Sappho's work and its literary environment, which illuminates both Sappho and the ways she has been read, adopted, and co-opted over the centuries. Without polemics, and with scrupulous candor and fidelity to the originals, Snyder allows even those readers who are, as she puts it, 'Greekless' to find their connection with the vitality of the words and the poems, which often exist on the page in only the most fragmentary form. By returning often to the bits of text that contain key words and phrases, Snyder actually succeeds in intimating poems where only hints remain." -- "Choice"
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About Jane McIntosh Snyder

Jane McIntosh Snyder is professor emeritus of classics at the Ohio State University.
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Rating details

15 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (5)
4 40% (6)
3 20% (3)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
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