By Seth Lerer

This publication treats Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy as a piece of imaginitive literature, and applies sleek strategies of feedback to his writings. The author's relevant objective is to illustrate the methodological and thematic coherence of The comfort of Philosophy.

Originally released in 1985.

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Additional resources for Boethius and Dialogue: Literary Method in the "Consolation of Philosophy"

Example text

47 Stock, Implications, p. 390. A READER'S LIFE 31 Boethius' texts a certain literary persona whose major task involves surmounting the difficulties of writing. Boethius' concern with litterae makes acts of thinking and reading acts of writing as well: theoretically, the Perihermeneias commen­ tary made writing the natural end point of verbal cognition; practically, his works demonstrate that the business of inter­ pretation is both the understanding of locutiones and the in­ scription of new texts.

Matthews, "The Letters of Symmachus," in J. W. , Latin Literature of the Fourth Century, pp. 75-78, and his restatement in "Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius," in Gibson, Boethius, pp. 25-26. 32 Matthews, in Gibson, Boethius, p. 25. 22 READERS AND WRITERS So I shall deserve well of my fellow-citizens if I undertake what still remains, if I instruct the habits of our people in the arts of Greek wisdom. 23 Such a statement returns us to the problems of the Perihermeneias remarks, and, taken together, these two passages point towards an understanding of the place of Boethius in the literary culture of his time.

On the place of the Greek Neoplatonic schools in Boethius' culture, see Chadwick, Boethius, pp. 16-22. " 16 See Auerbach, Literary Language, pp. 243-246, on the Imperial habit of presenting works first through public recitations and only afterwards as "pub­ lished" copies. " As late as the turn of the fourth and fifth centuries, Macrobius could structure his Saturnalia as a symposium, where Virgil's text becomes the subject of discussion among several friends. But, already, the tensions be­ tween earlier "classical" norms and the newer ethos of the grammaticus are made evident.

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