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Pindar's Verbal Art by James Wells

Wells Publishes Book, Pindar's Verbal Art

Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted February 1, 2010
Tags Classics Faculty Faculty Books
James Wells, visiting assistant professor of classics, has published a book, Pindar's Verbal Art, An Ethnographic Study of Epinician Style (Harvard University Press, February, 2010).

According to the publisher, “In Pindar’s Verbal Art, James Bradley Wells argues that the victory song is a traditional art form that appealed to a popular audience and served exclusive elite interests through the inclusive appeal of entertainment, popular instruction, and laughter. This is the first study of Pindar’s language that applies performance as a method for the ethnographic description and interpretation of entextualized records of verbal art.

"In Mikhail Bakhtin’s terms, Pindar’s Verbal Art is a sociological stylistics of epinician language and demonstrates that Pindar’s is a highly dialogical form of art, an intertextual web of voices, whose study enables us to appreciate popular dimensions of his songs. Wells offers a new take on recurrent Pindaric questions: genre, the unity of the victory song, tradition, and, principally, epinician performance."

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