BMCR 2019.07.21

L’allusione necessaria: ricerche intertestuali sulla poesia greca e latina. Filologia e critica, 102

, L'allusione necessaria: ricerche intertestuali sulla poesia greca e latina. Filologia e critica, 102. Pisa; Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2018. 236. ISBN 9788833151212 €68,40 (pb).

The second edition of L’Allusione necessaria is essentially the same as the first edition of 1990. Review here seems appropriate since the first edition was not to my knowledge reviewed in BMCR. I note that one chapter (chapter 9), appearing in a Festschrift in 2002, was reviewed in 2003.1 The book gathers selected essays by Bonanno on Greek and Latin poets. The essays share the theoretical approach generally known as “Intertextuality,” an approach in which texts subsequently become part of other texts that in turn function as a kind of literary criticism of the earlier text(s). An introduction orients the reader toward the approach and its primary exponents. Twenty chapters follow that treat such interactions in a wide variety of texts from Homer to Ovid (Leopardi in chapters 8 and 9 is an outlier). The book contains a bibliography, an Index Verborum and a list of “luoghi discussi.” It is difficult to discern how much of the book, besides chapter 9, has been published elsewhere, especially since there is no acknowledgement of such as far as I can tell. Scholars of Archilochus will recognize chapters 3 and 4 from separate publication, one prior and one subsequent to the first edition.2

Intertextual methodology is used by Bonanno for a variety of purposes. Textual readings can be supported; e.g. at Archilochus 188.2W 2 ὄγμοις is defended against ὄγμος not only with Horace, Epodes 8.3-4 but with rugae at Ovid, Ars Amatoria 2.115-18 (chapter 4). Arguments are made regarding authorship; e.g. P. Fouad 239, according to Bonanno, can be attributed to Sappho (44 A (a)V) rather than to Alcaeus (304 L-P) on the basis of Theognis 1292 (chapter 5). Here Bonanno traces the inconclusive attempts to assign authorship based on internal and external parallels and argues that Theognis 1283-1294 are replete with allusions to Sappho 1V, creating an Artemis based on the Sapphic Aphrodite. Bonanno also suggests a supplement and emendation (κοἴχωμαι μεγά]λ̣ων ὀρέων κορύφα̣ι̣ς ἔπι / θηρεύοι]σ α) based on Theognis 1292 (ωἴχετο δ’ ὑψηλὰς ἐς κορυφὰς ὀρέων / φεύγουσα). Many examples could be cited of passages where Bonanno clarifies interpretations of individual words with references to later authors who apparently had the earlier text in mind. Perhaps Bonanno’s interpretation of βόρηται = edere at Sappho 96.17V, suggesting erotic “autophagy” (chapter 6), will suffice here. Bonanno repeats the standard parallels (Nic. Ther. 394 for middle/passive use of βόρηται, Hom. Il. 6.202 for the sense of Sappho’s passage, where Bonanno notes the syntax similar to Sappho’s in the use of double participles), but adds Theognis 1324 θυμοβόρους in a passage which includes allusions to Sappho 1V. The volume contains many similar analyses of passages in the ancient poets, especially of Sappho, who appears in chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 17, but offering more examples would only indicate my own interests. Chapter 16 provides a view of the Alexandrian poets as “ Homeri Interpretes,” using Homeric words in novel ways to suggest new interpretations of Homer.

I list here the chapter titles to give an idea of the range of authors and topics:

Capitolo 1. “Pretesti epici e ragioni liriche” (Sul Primo Partenio di Alcmane)
Capitolo 2. “Le radici dell’ epos ” (Omero in Ibico)
Capitolo 3. “Eros sulle orme di Odisseo” (Archiloco, Anacreonte, Omero)
Capitolo 4. “Minaccia e persuasione amorosa” (Sul nuovo Archiloco)
Capitolo 5 “Il giuramento di Artemide” (Da Saffo as Aristofane)
Capitolo 6. “Eros e autofagia” (Da Saffo a Teocrito)
Capitolo 7. “La lingua in pezzi” (Saffo, Teocrito, Lucrezio)
Capitolo 8. “La luce della luna” (Saffo e Leopardi)
Capitolo 9. “Per una grammatica del coup de foudre “ (Da Saffo a Virgilio e oltre)
Capitolo 10. “Blasone e lotta armata” (Da Alceo a Meleagro)
Capitolo 11. “Artemide bambina” (Callimaco e Omero)
Capitolo 12. “Patemi d’amore” (Apollonio, Teocrito e Saffo)
Capitolo 13. “Un lapsus calami ?” (Virgilio e Teocrito)
Capitolo 14. “Effetti di un’eco” (Virgilio, Properzio e Teocrito)
Capitolo 15. “Candido Ila” (Properzio e Teocrito)
Capitolo 16. “Poetae ut Homeri interpretes” (Apollonio Rodio e Omero)
Capitolo 17. “Fuoco d’amore” (Teocrito, Apollonio, Asclepiade)
Capitolo 18. “Una metafora continuata” (Orazio e Alceo)
Capitolo 19. “La nascita di Lalage” (Orazio e Dioscoride)
Capitolo 20. “Metateatro in parodia” (Sulle Tesmoforiazuse di Aristofane)

The list shows only range, not completeness, as parerga appear throughout the book; for example, the treatment of Sappho (44 A (a)V) in Chapter 5 discussed above is followed by a discussion of Ibycus S199P which contains similar language and themes.

The Index Verborum is surprisingly small (thirty-six entries), containing e.g. (from passages mentioned here) ὄγμος but not οἴχομαι. The list of “luoghi discussi” is also incomplete; e.g., for chapter 17, “ Fuoco d’amore (Teocrito, Apollonio, Asclepiade),” there is no entry for Apollonius in the Index Verborum, but an entry appears for Euripides, who is not in the chapter title. Dioscorides, although in the title of chapter 19, is listed only as Antologia Palatina 6.220, a pity since there Bonanno offers an interesting argument that Dioscorides is the source both for the name “Lalage” and for the sonority of Horace, Odes 1.22, the sonority usually attributed to Sappho and Catullus. These scholarly shortcomings will make the volume less accessible to scholars and perhaps consequently less influential.

It is well worth the effort to consult this volume. But it is organized more for scholarly reading than for scholarly consultation.3


1. BMCR 2003.08.10 : Emanuele Lelli, ed., Arma Virumque …. Studi di poesia e storiografia in onore di Luca Canali (Pisa 2002), reviewed by Michael Fontaine.

2. Chapter 3: “ Eros sulle orme di Odisseo (Archiloco, Anacreonte, Omero)” = “Eros sulle orme di Odisseo,” in Roberto Pretagostini, ed., Tradizione e innovazione nella cultura greca da Omero a età ellenistica. Scritti in onere di Bruno Gentili (Rome 1993) 189-94; chapter 4: “ Minaccia e persuasione amorosa (Sul nuovo Archiloco)” = “Minaccia e persuazione amorosa (sul nuovo Archiloco),” MCr 15-17 (1980-1982) 19-26.

3. I am grateful to Clifford Ando and the anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions; views expressed here are mine. ​