New Antiquity

Lucretius and Modernity

Epicurean Encounters Across Time and Disciplines

Editors: Lezra, Jacques, Blake, Liza (Eds.)

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About this book

Lucretius's long shadow falls across the disciplines of literary history and criticism, philosophy, religious studies, classics, political philosophy, and the history of science. The best recent example is Stephen Greenblatt's popular account of the Roman poet's De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) rediscovery by Poggio Bracciolini, and of its reception in early modernity, winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Despite the poem's newfound influence and visibility, very little cross-disciplinary conversation has taken place. This edited collection brings together essays by distinguished scholars to examine the relationship between Lucretius and modernity. Key questions weave this book's ideas and arguments together: What is the relation between literary form and philosophical argument? How does the text of De rerum natura allow itself to be used, at different historical moments and to different ends? What counts as reason for Lucretius? Together, these essays present a nuanced, skeptical, passionate, historically sensitive, and complicated account of what is at stake when we claim Lucretius for modernity.

About the authors

Jacques Lezra is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at New York University, and a member of the Departments of English and German. He is the co-editor of Dictionary of Untranslatables (Princeton, 2014), with Emily Apter and Michael Wood; the author of Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror and the Modern Republic (Fordham, 2010; Spanish translation 2012; Chinese translation 2013); and the editor of the Northwestern University Press book series IDIOM, with Paul North. Lezra won the PEN Critical Editions Award for his translation into Spanish of Paul de Man's Blindness and Insight.

Liza Blake is an Assistant Professor of English and Drama at the University of Toronto Mississauga and an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Department of English at the University of Toronto. She has published in the journals postmedieval and SEL: Studies in English Literature, and in the edited volumes Ornamentalism: The Art of Renaissance Accessories, ed. Bella Mirabella, Speculative Medievalisms: Discography, ed. Eileen Joy et al, and the Palgrave Handbook of Early Modern Literature, Science, and Culture, ed. Evelyn Tribble and Howard Marchitello, forthcoming 2015.

Reviews

"In a series of masterful essays, Lucretius and Modernity offers an astutely philological and multidisciplinary assessment of the pertinence of De rerum natura, both how the work anticipates a variety of conceptions of modernity and how modern readings activate striking latencies contained in this singular Latin poem. Much more than a straightforward account of reception history, this exemplary collection radically presses the limits of reading the past in the present and the present in the past." - John T. Hamilton, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Harvard University, USA


"The return of Lucretius has been one of the more remarkable developments in the humanities over recent years. This scintillating collection offers diverse and focussed challenges to rethink how responses to Lucretius have shaped, and continue to shape, our sense of the Western intellectual tradition." - Duncan F. Kennedy, author of Rethinking Reality: Lucretius and the Textualization of Nature 
 

"Lucretius, writing in the first century before the Common Era, is one of our greatest philosophical contemporaries. He teaches us how to think the atom, the swerve and accident, and freedom: this book, taking stock of the poem's reception across disciplines and periods, persuades us with great force of Lucretius's continuing modernity." - Barbara Cassin, Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
 

"In a series of masterful essays, Lucretius and Modernity offers an astutely philological and multidisciplinary assessment of the pertinence of De rerum natura, both how the work anticipates a variety of conceptions of modernity and how modern readings activate striking latencies contained in this singular Latin poem. Much more than a straightforward account of reception history, this exemplary collection radically presses the limits of reading the past in the present and the present in the past." - John T. Hamilton, William R. Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Harvard University, USA

"The return of Lucretius has been one of the more remarkable developments in the humanities over recent years. This scintillating collection offers diverse and focussed challenges to rethink how responses to Lucretius have shaped, and continue to shape, our sense of the Western intellectual tradition." - Duncan F. Kennedy, author of Rethinking Reality: Lucretius and the Textualization of Nature 

 

"Lucretius, writing in the first century before the Common Era, is one of our greatest philosophical contemporaries. He teaches us how to think the atom, the swerve and accident, and freedom: this book, taking stock of the poem's reception across disciplines and periods, persuades us with great force of Lucretius's continuing modernity." - Barbara Cassin, Director of Research, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

 

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Lezra, Jacques (et al.)

    Pages 1-18

  • Michel Serres’s Non-Modern Lucretius: Manifold Reason and the Temporality of Reception

    Holmes, Brooke

    Pages 21-37

  • Lucretius and the Symptomatology of Modernism

    Farrell, Joseph

    Pages 39-55

  • Lucretius the Physicist and Modern Science

    Konstan, David

    Pages 57-68

  • The Presence of Lucretius in Eighteenth-Century French and German Philosophy

    Wilson, Catherine

    Pages 71-88

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56657-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-58199-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $32.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59189-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Lucretius and Modernity
Book Subtitle
Epicurean Encounters Across Time and Disciplines
Editors
  • Jacques Lezra
  • Liza Blake
Series Title
New Antiquity
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-56657-7
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-56657-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-58199-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-59189-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 225
Topics