Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho (Between Men-Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies)

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9780231099943: Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho (Between Men-Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies)
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This is the first book to examine Sappho's poetry through the lens of lesbian desire. Snyder provides close readings of the surviving examples of Sappho's poetry, occasionally presenting comparative material from other ancient Greek poets. The original Greek text is included in an appendix.

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From the Back Cover:

Sappho of Lesbos lived and wrote poetry some twenty-six centuries ago, but hers remains a persistent and effective voice for the expression of a woman's desire for a woman. Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho is the first book to examine Sappho's poetry through the lens of lesbian desire, focusing 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. Snyder reads Sappho's songs against a woman-centered framework in which emotional and/or erotic bonds between and among women take center stage. Her close readings demonstrate the ways in which Sappho's lyrics focus on women's emotional lives with one another and on female erotic desire for other females. In Sappho's poetic world, male figures, when they do appear, stand on the periphery. In order to make Sappho accessible to everyone, Snyder presents detailed readings of the one complete existing song and of each of the major fragments of her poetry. She provides a clear English translation and a transliteration into our alphabet; the original Greek text is included in an appendix. Rather than making claims about the specific social contexts out of which the poems may have arisen, Snyder offers a close analysis of the words themselves, with comparative material drawn from other archaic Greek poets where there appear to be appropriate parallels. The book concludes with a chapter addressing Sappho's influence on a number of modern American woman poets, particularly Amy Lowell, H.D., and Olga Broumas. Snyder sees in these three poets qualities similar to Sappho's: a strong sense of self-definition; a display of independencewithin a poetic tradition; a relishing of the erotic and the sensual; and an emphasis on the mutuality of desire; and a blurring of the gaze that disrupts the hierarchy of subject versus object.

About the Author:

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

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9780231099950: Lesbian Desire in the Lyrics of Sappho

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ISBN 10:  0231099959 ISBN 13:  9780231099950
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 1998
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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 1997. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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. Seller Inventory # BTE9780231099943

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