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Title: Concatenatio Catulliana: A New Reading of the Carmina
Author: Claes, Paul
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2002
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789050632881
Volumes: 1; Pages: 173
List Price in Cloth: $82.00 Our price: $68.99
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The arrangement of Catullus' Carmina is one of those controversial issues that in-cite respectable commentators to take up extreme positions. In 1914, the German scholar Bernhard Schmidt described the collection as 'a wild chaos'. Forty-five years later, his compatriot Otto Weinreich riposted with the laconic statement: 'Chaos? Cosmos!' Former attempts to detect a structure in the collection were based on rather subjective assumptions. While translating Catullus' poetry into Dutch, Dr Claes detected an objective foundation: the principle of concatenation, i.e. the recurrence of motifs and phrases in consecutive poems. The generality of this phenomenon proves that the poet conceived of the Carmina as a coherent collection, in which the poems fit like links in a chain. The discovery of this coherence suggests a new reading of Catullus, which has also implications for the constitution of the text.