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Ongoing Seminar con Javiera Lorenzini

El día miércoles 22 de junio, a las 11:30 horas, se realizará la charla “Poets reading styles: Hermogenes, Shakespeare, Parra” con Javiera Loremzini Raty, de King’s College London. La charla forma parte del Ongoing Seminar, que en esta ocasión es organizado por la profesora de Letras UC, Francisca Folch. La actividad se transmitirá por Zoom previa inscripción en el formulario AQUÍ y por YouTube Letras UC

What do ancient Greek rhetoric, English Renaissance drama, and twentieth-century Chilean ‘anti-poetry’ have in common? This presentation addresses the shared poetics of three authors from different moments of history: Hermogenes of Tarsus, an innovative rhetorician from the second century AD; the remarkably long-lived Renaissance dramatist William Shakespeare; and Nicanor Parra, the founder of the also greatly influential ‘anti-poetry’. I suggest that these writers’ shared emphasis on ingenuity, metrical irregularity, and dissent, is not fortuitous, but instead relies on a powerful affiliation, that of reading: these authors read each other. On the one hand, Parra discovered Shakespeare and Donne in his years living at the University of Oxford, where he went to study cosmology and ended up more immersed in English poetry than in mathematics. The compelling and flexible verse of Shakespeare was to have an immense ascendancy over Parra’s work throughout his life, to the point that he defined his own anti-poetry as ‘Shakesperean blank verse’. On the other hand, it is less known that the irregular, obscure, densely metaphorical styles that Parra admired in Shakespeare and his contemporaries had a fundamental source in a Greek treatise by Hermogenes, On Ideas of Style (Περὶ ἰδεῶν), which is little known today but was widely read in the Renaissance. Hermogenes’ book defined an exciting array of ‘ideas’ or forms of style, such as ‘Beauty’, ‘Vehemence’, ‘Ingenuity’, and ‘Force’, which transformed conceptions of literature and genre in sixteenth and seventeenth-century writing. Hermogenes’ ‘ideas’, I argue, offer a key for reading not only Shakespeare but also his distant reader, Parra, raising key questions on the reception of the classics in contexts of cultural extremity.



Javiera Lorenzini Raty has recently completed her Ph.D. in the English Department at King’s College London, funded by ANID Becas Chile. Her areas of interest cover early modern poetics and literary theory, reception studies, book history, rhetoric, multilingualism, and cross-period experimental literature. Her doctoral research specifically explored the reception of Hermogenes of Tarsus’ On Ideas of Style (2nd C. A.D) in the innovative verse of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her thesis has been nominated to King’s College London Outstanding Thesis Prize 2022.


14 de Junio de 2022


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