To use a slightly completely different terminology, the topic positions obtainable in language always exist relative to a second time period of a dyadic relationship. However, as already discussed within the introduction, the idea of amicitia can embrace a full spectrum of private relations from those of patronage correct to a type of Ciceronian perfect of identification of interests, values, and opinions. Of letters, and thus in narrative time, it entails Maecenas’s participation as an actual reader interpreting Horace’s poetry.
In the second, I give a reading of the first epistle in terms of this “autobiographical subject” and its engagement with economic issues of debt, credit score, and symbolic capital. In the fourth part, I examine extra carefully the abundant economic imagery of the seventh epistle and the methods during which it interacts with the ambivalence of Horace’s status identifications. Toward the tip of the twenty-ninth ode of his third guide the Horatian speaker claims to praise Fortune so long as she stays, but should she shake her wings and fly away, he’ll resign her presents, wrap himself in his advantage, and take poverty as his dowry. This philosophical indifference to fortune’s vicissitudes draws the primary three books of the Odes to a close; and, as the final poem , it anticipates many of the points that the Epistles will take up. The trope of Epicurean self-sufficiency-here figured as the warm shawl of advantage and the marriage gift of poverty-appears in the epistolary poems as the last word benefaction bestowed by the poet on himself. Such independence, in flip, depends on a dialogue with the audience, whether that be the particular lyric or epistolary addressee or a more generalized public “readership”—those whom the poem implicitly establishes as consumers of poetry.
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