The Music of the Republic: Essays on Socrates' Conversations and Plato's Writings

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9781589880085: The Music of the Republic: Essays on Socrates' Conversations and Plato's Writings
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“It is a wonder and a delight to be led by Eva Brann through the Socratic conversations. She begins from first impressions and moves through perplexity to clarity, without losing the thread. Those who do not know the Republic will be initiated into its treasures. Those who believe that it is a great book will understand better what they already know.”—Ann Hartle, Emory University

In this collection of essays, Eva Brann talks with readers about the conversations Socrates has with his fellow Athenians. She shows how Plato's dialogues and the timeless matters they address remain important to us today. From introductory pieces on the Republic, the Phaedo, and the Sophist, to an account of the less well known Charmides, each essay starts where Plato starts, without presupposing a critical theory. In the title essay's brilliant account of the Republic, Brann demonstrates its central importance in Plato's work. Other essays consider Plato's notion of time; discuss how to teach Plato to undergraduates; and contend that a thoughtful text-based study of Plato can have a very personal impact on a reader. Encouraged to befriend the dialogues, readers will join in the great Socratic conversations.

From Chapter Five, "Introduction to Reading the Republic":

"Since it is a conversation recorded between the covers of a book we cannot help but begin by reading it, but I think the author wants us as soon as possible to join it, to be converted from passive perusal to active participation . . . The reader is, I think, invited to be present . . . to smile or snicker at witticisms and inside jokes, to groan in outrage at trick arguments, to nod approval at satisfying formulations, to recall contradictory passages of conversation, to appreciate the return of a theme, and in sum, to check and fill out the recorded conversation with an unwritten inner accompaniment — to be always just on the brink of breaking in."

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for more than forty years. Brann holds an M.A. in Classics and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale University. Her other books include The Ways of Naysaying; What, Then, Is Time?; and The World of the Imagination. A volume of her selected essays, The Past-Present, was published in 1997.

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About the Author:

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for over forty-five years. Brann holds an M.A. in Classics and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale University. Her recent books include The Ways of Naysaying; What, Then, Is Time?; and The World of the Imagination. A volume of her selected essays, The Past-Present, was published in 1997.

Review:

Praise for Eva Brann and The Music of the Republic

“This collection of Eva Brann’s is one of the most valuable aids a lover of Plato could have.”―Walter Nicgorski, University of Notre Dame

The Music of the Republic “will establish [Eva Brann] as one of the great readers and interpreters of the Platonic dialogues in modern times.”―Bruce Foltz, Eckerd College

“It is a wonder and a delight to be led by Eva Brann through the Socratic conversations...Those who do not know the Republic will be initiated into its treasures. Those who believe that it is a great book will understand better what they already know. And all who teach the dialogues will find their souls expanded in the presence of this most generous teacher.”―Ann Hartle, Emory University

“In these wonderfully insightful essays, Eva Brann helps us hear the music of Plato’s dialogues and join the conversation...I found myself filled with envy for her students and happy, with this book, to now be included among them.”―Anthony T. Kronman, Yale University

"The title essay of this collection is a miniature masterpiece, one of the most seminal writings of our time on Plato's Republic."―John Sallis, Pennsylvania State University


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