Both passionate and artful, learned and bawdy, Catullus is one of the best-known and critically significant poets from classical antiquity. An intriguing aspect of his poetry that has been neglected by scholars is his interest in silence, from the pauses that shape everyday conversation to linguistic taboos and cultural suppressions and the absolute silence of death.
In Silence in Catullus, Benjamin Eldon Stevens offers fresh readings of this Roman poet's most important works, focusing on his purposeful evocations of silence. This deep and varied poetics of silence takes on many forms in Catullus's poetic corpus: underscoring the lyricism of his poetry; highlighting themes of desire, immortality-in-culture, and decay; accenting its structures and rhythms; and, Stevens suggests, even articulating underlying philosophies. Combining classical philological methods, contemporary approaches to silence in modern literature, and the most recent Catullan scholarship, this imaginative examination of Catullus offers a new interpretation of one of the ancient world's most influential and inimitable voices.