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Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome$
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Michele Lowrie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545674.001.0001

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Love and Semiotics

Love and Semiotics

Chapter:
(p.215) 8 Love and Semiotics
Source:
Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome
Author(s):

Michèle Lowrie (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545674.003.0008

This is the first in a series of chapters on the Augustan literary epistle, where the advantages of writing come to the fore. A brief treatment of Catullus 50 outlines some of the semiotic issues of communication in absence as an introduction to the heroine epistles of Propertius and Ovid. Although separation is a source of frustration for all the literal or metaphorical lovers in these poems, their situations provide an occasion for their respective poets to explore the gap between the insufficiency of writing as a medium of communication between lovers and its great advantages for reaching a more general reader. The power of representation, of imagination, as well as concerns that anticipate modern speech act theory are addressed.

Keywords:   Catullus, Propertius, Ovid, literary epistle, heroine epistle, semiotics, speech act theory

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