Faculty Book: John Van Sickle
John Van Sickle
Virgil’s Book of Bucolics, the Ten Eclogues Translated Into English Verse: Framed by Cues for Reading Out-Loud & Clues for Threading Texts & Themes
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)
This highly original work builds on two neglected facts about Virgil’s Book of Bucolics: its popularity on the bawdy Roman stage and its impact as sequence poetry on readers and writers from the Classical world through the present day. Van Sickle’s artfully rendered translation, its stage cues, and the explanatory notes treat for the first time the book’s ten short pieces as a thematic web. Introductory notes identify cues for casting, dramatic gesture, and voice, pointing to topics that stirred the Roman crowd and satisfied powerful patrons. Back notes offer clues to the ambitious literary program implicit in the voices, plots, and themes. Taken as a whole, this volume shows how the Bucolics inaugurated Virgil’s lifelong campaign to colonize for Rome the prestigious Greek genres of epic and tragedy—winning contemporary acclaim and laying the groundwork for his poetic legend. John Van Sickle (Prof., Brooklyn) is on the doctoral faculty in classics and comparative literature.
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Submitted on: OCT 23, 2012