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Apollo i Marsjasz This song is by Przemysław Gintrowski and appears on the album Tren Że drzewo do którego przywiązany był Marsjasz Zbigniew Herbert. of Zbigniew Herbert, a poet who came of age in the immediate aftermath of the war in i Marsjasz” [“Apollo and Marsyas”] from Studium przedmiotu [Study of an . One hardly needs to extol the virtues of Zbigniew Herbert’s poetry. It is com . In ” Apollo and Marsyas” (Apollo i Marsjasz), e.g., the stanza odwraca glow? i widzi.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. University of Oregon Marsyas’s Howl: JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.

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We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. That no poet writes solely for his contem- porary audience has been proved by many a poet, including the uncompromis- ing Russian Nobel laureate.

Yet the vector of poetry does not point exclusively toward the past; it also extends into the future: If poetic practice situates poets simultaneously in the past and in the future, then poets themselves invite a mode of critical reading that is not based upon tempo- ral, or even cultural, proximity that is, upon analyzing continuity through direct historical influencesbut upon juxtapositions of disparate and temporally dis- tant texts.

Placing poetic predecessors and descendants side by side enables us to trace over-arching structures and individual idiosyncrasies, as well as decipher political and social meanderings that are often overlooked when texts are ap- proached in their singularity. The juxtaposition of these two versions not only becomes a magnifying glass for examining the aesthetic choices of both poets, but also reveals how they sought to avoid political repercussions by manipulating their material.

In fact, their aesthetic choices were partially determined by political conditions: Reading and interpreting Herbert’s poem rereads and reinterprets Ovid’s text; “filling in” Ovid’s silences implies “filling in” those of Herbert as well.

Athena, intending to entertain the Olympians by playing the flute is mocked by the gods and retreats to Mount Ida to play alone. Looking at her reflection in a stream, however, she sees her cheeks ridiculously inflated and discards the in- strument, cursing it.

In Hyginus’s account of the story, the Muses judge the competition, giving Marsyas victory in the first round. In the second round, Apollo turns his lyre upside down and plays; he is then judged the victor since Marsyascannot do the same with his flute.

As usually occurs with myth, this story has been variously interpreted to accom- modate changing historical circumstances. The most common interpretation of the Marsyasmyth in Greek antiquity focused on the punishment of the hubristic satyr.

Such an interpretation also suited a Pythagorean paradigm in which the lyre, standing for universal harmony, is disturbed by a discordant particularity -the shrill sound of the aulos flute.

The cosmological assumptions of the Pythagorean school could also easily be translated into political terms as a call for social apolo, state order, and political j.

It was not accidental that at least by Pliny’s time, and probably much earlier, Zeuxis’s BCE painting Marsyas religatus was hung in the temple of Concordia in Rome as a warning to those who might disturb the apoll of the state Pliny, NH The earlier and better known version appears in marjasz Metamorphoses 6. The second version occurs in the Fasti 6.

This work culminates in a discussion of freedom of speech including the Marsyas story and abruptly ends with the month of Marsjwsz before the gens Iulia appropriated the Roman calendar by naming the seventh month after the dictator Julius Caesar, Augustus’s adoptive father. In both Ovidian versions of the story, there are significant gaps in the narrative that only readers familiar with the myth could fill in.

Thus, in the Fasti Ovid focuses primarily on the story of the aulos, Marsyas’s instrument, and flute players. He relates how a satyr found pipes discarded by their inventor, Minerva the goddess Athena in Greek mythologyhow the satyr challenged Apollo, and how he was punished as a result.

Ovid makes no mention of the rules of the competition nor of how Apollo defeated the satyr, and restricts the challenge and punishment to two lines 6. The satyr’s name is not even men- tioned.

Significantly, Ovid places this version of the Marsyas myth at the end of an account of the surreptitious return of exiled flute players to the city of Rome cf. In the Marsjadz, Ovid compresses the story of Marsyas into eighteen lines 6.


Rather than focusing on Marsyas and his artistic skills, his agon with Apollo, or the victor and his choice of punishment, Ovid concentrates on the apoollo body of Marsyas, shifting at the end to the metamorphosis of the tears shed over Marsyas’s death apllo the river Marsyas: Ilium ruricolae, silvarum numina, Fauni Et satyri fratres et tunc quoque carus Olympus Et nymphae flerunt, et quisquis montibus illis Lanigerosque greges armentaque bucera pavit.

Fertilis immaduit madefactaque terra caducas Concepit lacrimas ac venis perbibit imis; Quas ubi fecit aquam, vacuas emisit in auras.

Inde petens rapidum ripis declivibus aequor Marsyanomen habet, Phrygiae liquidissimus amnis. You could count the pulsing apolol and gleaming entrails in his breast. The country dwellers and forest spirits, the fawns and his brother satyrs wept for him. The fertile earth grew moist with marsjzsz and when it was saturated accepted the falling drops and drank them into its deepest veins. Then she turned them into water and sent them forth to transparent air. From this place a stream rushes down the sloping banks.

It carries the name of Marsyas,the clearest of all Phrygian rivers. Nonetheless, the brevityof the Marsyas narrative is surprising since in this epic Ovid usually treats mythic artists rather extensively, carefully introducing each artist’s psychological make-up, skill, and transgression most famously, in the elaborate stories of Orpheus and Arachne.

Yet, in this case there is no introduction to Marsyas’scharacter and the nature of his k. And since the story lacks any progression, ehrbert are immediately con- fronted with the horror of Marsyas’spunishment.

This brevity has led many crit- ics to agree with William S.

Anderson’s claim that the myth functions simply as a transitional story; it is so “casuallyadded and so perfunctorily told that Ovid fully prepares us to abandon the subject [of human blasphemy]” Yet, it may be that this treatment of the myth is neither transitional nor accidental.

As in the Herberrt, where the Marsyas myth is the climax of a long discussion of freedom of speech in the last “pre-Julian”month of the calendarthe flaying of Marsyasin the Metamorphosesconstitutes the finale herbeet the stories of human blasphemy Arachne, Niobe, and the Lycian Farmers for which Book VI is famous.

Although this placement apoollo interpretations such as Anderson’s plausible, it does not exclude the possibility that political concerns underlie Ovid’s brief treatment of the myth. Several critics give the short episode of Marsyas a political interpretation, al- though only as a small component of larger studies of Ovid’s poetry and poetics in the Metamorphoses.

Przemysław Gintrowski:Apollo I Marsjasz Lyrics

Such studies address neither the full implications of Ovid’s versions of the myth, nor the iconography of Marsyas. The discussion herbwrt Marsyas’s challenge to Apollo in these studies serves to illuminate, for instance, Ovid’s complex negotiation of his own artistic autonomy in Augustan Rome Carole Newlandshis supposed indulgence in human pain and agony Karl Galinskyhis elusive voice, tone, and perspective Eleanor Leachand his tendency hedbert contrast violence with idyllic landscape Charles Segal.

Similarly, many schol- ars of Italo-Roman iconography for example, M. Rawson have discussed the transformation of the Roman conception of Marsyas from an “Italic”figure of augury who warranted a statue in the Forum Romanum see below to a Phrygian figure punished by Apollo a painting of which, Zeuxis’s Marsyasreligatus,hung in the Temple of Concordia.

My explora- tion of the political dimension of the myth of Marsyas in Ovid’s Metamorphoses more fully projects the history of this mythical figure and its semiotic transfor- mations into the text of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

In this analysis, what is silenced and omitted in Ovid’s short account of the myth becomes even more significant than what is expressed. Such an analysis of the blank spaces in Ovid is greatly aided by the marxjasz of the myth’s treatment in the Metamorphoses with Zbigniew Herbert’s contemporary rewriting of the myth the focus of the second half of this paper. Indeed, Marsyas’s apollk quid me mihi detrahis,”why are you peeling me from myself” 6. This dis- tancing has encouraged Karl Galinsky to link Ovid’s gory imagination to the Roman indulgence in the amphitheater spectacles and to read Ovid’s lines as a reflection of a typically Roman delight in cruelty.

To be sure, the most graphic part of the narrative-the description of Marsyas’s intestines: You could count the pulsing intestines and gleaming entrails in the breast”-might strike one as an anatomical catalogue in which the organs in their “autonomy”depersonalize their “owner” cf. But Ovid is rarely explicitly compassionate; as Eleanor Leach has noted, he conveys his personal voice only indirectly through style, tone, and perspectiveand, indeed, a closer reading of the passage raises questions concerning Galinsky’sclaims.

The description progresses from the past narsjasz inquit, clamabat, erat to the immediacy of the present manat, patent, micant and from the im- personal third person to the second-“you could count” possis numerare. By breaking the third person narration and shifting to a second person subjunctive, Ovid creates a sense of immediacy and direct address, as if he wanted to involve his audience in the process of counting Marsyas’sintestines.

Herbbert stylistic devices mark Ovid’s sympathy for the satyr by involving the reader in the horror of Marsyas’s suffering. It is true that the satyr lacks any psychological dimension, but his reduction to blood- soaked flesh nec quicquam nisi vulnus erat, “he was nothing unless a wound,” 6.


The extremity of his punishment-beyond human comprehension-does not exclude the possibility of sympathy. Moreover, Ovid projects his sympathy onto a bucolic setting see belowdescribing the beings of the region lamenting the satyr’sdeath7 and forming a river named Marsyasfrom their tears. In this lament, which is indispensable to the Ovidian version since it consti- tutes the source of the metamorphosis, Ovid follows the Theocritean and Vergilian 6 Although “possis”in “possis numerare” can be read as an equivalent to the English “one” “one could count”it seems to retain a personal force.

Professor Thomas Habinek private communica- tion suggests that such cues as the second person could be analyzed in relation to the performance of Latin poetry, that is, as direct address by the poet-reciter to the audience.

This lament is indeed disturbing since the weeping shepherds, fauns, forest deities-all stock figures of the pastoral landscape-do not belong to the realm of raw violence perpetrated against Marsyas’sbody.

According to Charles Segal, Ovid’s contrast of violent action with an idyllic loci amoeniintensifies the victim’s helplessness and the arbitrariness of the oppressing force Landscape83ff. Far from indicating Ovid’s indifference to violence, as Galinsky claims, the conven- tionality of this lament intensifies the horror lying in wait beneath the serene appearances of the Ovidian landscape.

Apllo, it is important to recall that Ovid wrote the Metamorphoses as well as the Fasti in the later years of Augustus’s principate, years marked by the increasing intolerance of the Emperor, an intolerance which resulted in the exile of several prominent citizens including the Princeps’s daughter, Julia whose behavior and beliefs conflicted with his program of cultural and social renewal.

Poets from Augustus’s marsjjasz most prominently Vergil, Propertius, and Horace contributed to Augustus’s program with works proclaiming the Golden Age of Rome. Ovid’s works, on the other berbert, leave few doubts about his reluctance to support marsjjasz pater patriae’s attempt to effect moral renewal through his poetry. In his Ars Amatoria, for example, Ovid’s playful disregard for the “velvet glove” mocks Augustus by ironically contrasting Augustus’s magsjasz with his own: Ovid also ridicules Augustus’s attempts to reorganize religion; in his works Jupiter and Apollo are lustful, ruthless, selfish matsjasz whose authority comes entirely from their power, not from any essential moral superiority Lateiner 5.

Likewise, in the Metamorphoses Ovid subverts the epic, the literary genre best suited to Augustus’s apolol of cultural classicism. As Lateiner and Leach have shown, the explicit mockery of Augustus’s principate in the Ars Amatoria is in the Metamorphoses transported into mythological settings-primarily as a response to an increasingly repressive political environment.

Indeed, the political prob- lem of artistic autonomy in Augustus’s Rome is one of the key concerns of the Metamorphoses. For Leach, Ovid’s artists, including Marsyas,manifest the impossi- of bility reconciling personal vision with an authoritarian world Similarly for Lateiner, the Metamorphosesfocuses on the unpredictable nature of power and its manipulation of artists. In stories like Arachne’s, artists are presented as vulnerable and abused by ruthless figures of authority, but their ars,like Arachne’s spider web, cannot be entirely destroyed.

Apollo – Tyko | Shazam

Lateiner thus presents Ovid’s Marsyas as “the image of the artist’s pain and vulnerability-all wound, stripped of any covering, his insides and guts all visible” The themes of artistic autonomy, patronage, and freedom of speech are clearly traceable even in the Fasti, a work written simultaneously with the Metamorphoses and likely designed to please Augustus’s demands for artworks supporting his principate.

Yet, as Carole Newlands has shown, even the Fasti expresses Ovid’s fears for his artistic autonomy and his recognition that poetic independence has been lost under imperial censorship.

Through his prefatory remarks on the title of the poem, which define diesfasti and dies nefasti according to the restriction of public speech, Ovid points to the freedom of expression so vital to his own life and career before and during his exile Newlands As in the Metamorphoses, the mythical artists in Fasti allow Ovid to explore the issue of poetic freedom as well as the issue of personal patronage, which ideally should mediate between the artist and a state commit- ted to aggressive dynastic politics.

Ovid’s views are, as usual, contradictory: In the myth of Arion Apollo represents a model patron poet; in the myth of Marsyas he elimi- nates the rival artist. Throughout the Metamorphoses and the Fasti artists cannot trust their patrons, who are often the source of the poets’ destruction. The power structures in these works are indifferent if not malevolent to the human values of the poet and his creations Newlands Thus, in the Fasti Minerva distances herself from the scene of Marsyas’spunishment, even though that punishment is the result of her invention and abandonment of the flute Newlands As Newlands claims, the contradictory images of Apollo the exemplary poet in the Arion myth and Minerva a patroness of arts, see Fasti 3.