Demetrius’ Contributions to the Study of Prose Cover Image

Деметријеви доприноси проучавању прозе
Demetrius’ Contributions to the Study of Prose

Author(s): Dejan D. Milutinović
Subject(s): Cultural history, Ancient World, Rhetoric
Published by: Матица српска

Summary/Abstract: Demetrius’ text On style represents one of the oldest poetic treatises of ancient Greece, together with Aristotle’s and Longinus’ writings. In Serbian literary theory, there are only two papers which deal with it, in the context of stylistics. In this paper, by employing the method of case studies, we analyse the contributions to the study of prose of Demetrius’ treatise particularly with regard to issues related to the author, the audience, epistolography and the aesthetic intentions of prose. Demetrius considers fiction as a communicative domain based on the clauses, which is why it differs from dithyramb, epic poetry and dialogue. Therefore, neither fictionality nor narration are not its features, but the manner in which language resources are coordinated (content, diction, composition). Demetrius holds (Aristotelian) rhetorical position that the poet / writer is in full and conscious control over what he speaks / writes about and employs a number of different verbal techniques by which this control comes to the fore and is transmitted to the listener / reader. In the treatise On style certain narrative methods are considered, such as an unexpected turn, duly introduced stories, factual or fictional, or tension and uncertainty in direct presentation. Furthermore, a difference is made (in terms of themes, diction and composition, the goal and purposes) between the witty and humorous. The most important contribution of Demetrius’ writing relates to the fact that his treatise is one of the few surviving texts in ancient Greek which deals with epistolary poetics.

  • Issue Year: 65/2017
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 801-808
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Serbian