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Juvenal and the Poetics of Anonymity

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The satirist Juvenal remains one of antiquity's greatest question marks. His Satires entered the mainstream of the classical tradition with nothing more than an uncertain name and a dubious biography to recommend them. Tom Geue argues that the missing author figure is no mere casualty of time's passage, but a startling, concerted effect of the Satires themselves. Scribbling dangerous social critique under a historical maximum of paranoia, Juvenal harnessed this dark energy by wiping all traces of himself - signature, body, biographical snippets, social connections - from his reticent texts. This last major ambassador of a once self-betraying genre took a radical leap into the anonymous. Juvenal and the Poetics of Anonymity tracks this mystifying self-concealment over the whole Juvenalian corpus. Through probing close readings, it shows how important the missing author was to this satire, and how that absence echoes and amplifies the neurotic politics of writing under surveillance.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781108416344
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Publication series

NameCambridge Classical Studies

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