Mothers in Mourning

9780801482427: Paperback
Release Date: 29th January 1998

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 136

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Myth and Poetics

Cornell University Press

Mothers in Mourning

Written by
Nicole Loraux
,
Translated by
Corinne Pache
"Nicole Loraux brilliantly elucidates how Athenian politics were 'gendered' in the Classical period. She investigates the Athenian state's interdiction of ritualized mourning by women, in a city where public mourning constituted a vital act of civic...
Paperback / £23.99

"Nicole Loraux brilliantly elucidates how Athenian politics were 'gendered' in the Classical period. She investigates the Athenian state's interdiction of ritualized mourning by women, in a city where public mourning constituted a vital act of civic self-definition and solidarity. "As Loraux shows, the silencing and exclusion of female—especially maternal—claims to a crucial relationship with the city's fallen war heroes served, and was reinforced by, the ideologically charged, distinctively Athenian notion of the polis as mother of its citizens. But, Loraux points out, the voice and audience that were denied the bereaved women in the political arena were made available to them in the Athenian theater. She focuses on the representation of mothers in mourning in the myths that are the substance of epic poetry and, principally, in Athenian drama, where the dire, menacing implications of their relentless grief are exposed and played out."Using evidence from sources as diverse as legal inscriptions, forensic oratory, ancient historiography, and early religious treatises, Loraux once again illuminates the culture of democracy, specifically the institutional suppression of women as a political and social force in the most flourishing period of Athenian history."—Laura M. Slatkin, University of ChicagoThis volume includes translations of the book "Les meres en deuil" and the essay "De l'amnistie et de son contraire."

"The most interesting work on male Athenians' imagination of motherhood since Slater's The Glory of Hera. . . . Mothers in Mourning brings with it Loraux's remarkable sensitivity to the nuances of Greek and her unexampled range of reference to things classical and post-classical. . . . Loraux's work serves as a demonstration that we can learn a great deal from tragic mothers despite their origin in the imaginations of men. One closes Mothers in Mourning with that rarest of senses in tragic criticism—that it has become easier to project oneself into the ikria."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"A great part of the pleasure of reading Mothers in Mourning is produced by the suggestive gaps in the text, and the paths it does not take. . . The reader's attention becomes unavoidably wholly engaged with the text, through the necessity of pausing to supply what Loraux has only suggested before moving on. This tactic could quickly become more provoking than provocative, and it is a tribute to Loraux's mastery of subject and style alike that the pleasure of the active reading her text demands does not pall."—Laurel Bowman, University of Victoria, Phoenix. 1998.

"Classicists interested in fifth-century Athens or in gender issues in the ancient world will find it an exciting starting point for discussion."—Barbara Leigh Clayton, Stanford University. The Classical Outlook. Fall, 2000, Vol. 78, No. 1

"Nicole Loraux brilliantly elucidates how Athenian politics were 'gendered' in the Classical period. She investigates the Athenian state's interdiction of ritualized mourning by women, in a city where public mourning constituted a vital act of civic self-definition and solidarity. As Loraux shows, the silencing and exclusion of female—especially maternal—claims to a crucial relationship with the city's fallen war heroes served, and was reinforced by, the ideologically charged, distinctively Athenian notion of the polis as mother of its citizens. But, Loraux points out, the voice and audience that were denied the bereaved women in the political arena were made available to them in the Athenian theater. She focuses on the representation of mothers in mourning in the myths that are the substance of epic poetry and, principally, in Athenian drama, where the dire, menacing implications of their relentless grief are exposed and played out."Using evidence from sources as diverse as legal inscriptions, forensic oratory, ancient historiography, and early religious treatises, Loraux once again illuminates the culture of democracy, specifically the institutional suppression of women as a political and social force in the most flourishing period of Athenian history."—Laura M. Slatkin, University of Chicago