Pater the Classicist is the first book to address in detail Walter Pater's important contribution to the study of classical antiquity. Widely considered our greatest aesthetic critic and now best known as a precursor to modernist writers and post-modernist thinkers of the twentieth century, Pater was also a classicist by profession who taught at the University of Oxford. He wrote extensively about Greek art and philosophy, but also authored an influential historical novel set in ancient Rome, Marius the Epicurean, and a variety of short stories depicting the survival of classical culture in later ages. These superficially diverging interests actually went closely hand-in-hand: it can plausibly be asserted that it is the classical tradition in its broadest sense, including the question of how to understand its workings and temporalities, which forms Pater's principal subject as a writer. Although he initially approached antiquity obliquely, through the Italian Renaissance, for example, or the poetry of William Morris, later in his career he wrote more, and more directly, about the ancient world, and particularly about Greece, his first love. The essays in this collection cover all his major works and reveal a many-sided and inspirational figure, whose achievements helped to reinvigorate the classical studies that were the basis of the English educational system of the nineteenth century, and whose conception of Classics as cross-disciplinary and outward-looking can be a model to scholars and students today. They discuss his classicism generally, his fiction set in classical antiquity, his writings on Greek art and culture, and those on ancient philosophy, and in doing so they also illuminate Pater's position within his Victorian context, among figures such as J. A. Symonds, Henry Nettleship, Vernon Lee, and Jane Harrison, as well as his place in the study and reception of Classics today.
Charles Martindale is Emeritus Professor of Latin at the University of Bristol, having previously also held the position of Dean of Arts there. He has written widely on reception issues, reception theory, and the relationship between classical and English poetry, especially Shakespeare and Milton and the afterlives of Virgil, Horace, and Ovid. He is the author of Redeeming the Text: Latin Poetry and the Hermeneutics of Reception and Latin Poetry and the Judgement of Taste: An Essay in Aesthetics, as well as general editor, with David Hopkins, of the five-volume Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, four volumes of which have now been published.
Stefano Evangelista is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He works on nineteenth-century English and comparative literature with particular interests in the reception of the classics, Aestheticism and Decadence, and the relationship between literary and visual cultures. He is the author of British Aestheticism and Ancient Greece: Hellenism, Reception, Gods in Exile, the editor of The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe, and the co-editor with Catherine Maxwell of Algernon Charles Swinburne: Unofficial Laureate.
Elizabeth Prettejohn is Professor of History of Art at the University of York. She is best known for her work on the art of Victorian Britain (especially Pre-Raphaelitism and Aestheticism), and on the reception of ancient art in the modern world from Winckelmann to the present day. She has been involved in numerous exhibitions, including Alma-Tadema, D. G. Rossetti, and Waterhouse, and has also been published widely across a variety of subjects. Her most recent book is The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
Introduction. Pater and Antiquity, Charles Martindale
1. Classics and Classicism
Introduction to Part 1
1. Pater as Professional Classicist, Isobel Hurst
2. Pater the Translator, Benedicte Coste
3. Pater's 'Winckelmann': Aesthetic Criticism and Classical Reception, Stefano Evangelista and Katherine Harloe
4. Eternal Moment: Pater on the Temporality of the Classical Ideal in Art, Whitney Davis
Introduction to Part 2
5. Tibullus in Marius the Epicurean; or How to Read Pater's Fiction, Duncan Kennedy
6. Marcus the Stoic in Marius the Epicurean, Richard Rutherford
7. A Search for Home: The Representation of the Domestic in Marius the Epicurean, Shelley Hales
8. Reception, Receptivity, and Anachronism in Marius the Epicurean, James I. Porter
9. Pater's 'Apollo in Picardy': The Art of Scholarly Method, Caroline Vout
3. Greek Art and Culture
Introduction to Part 3
10. Pater's 'Hippolytus Veiled': A Study from Euripidesa
11. Hellenic Utopias: Pater in the Footsteps of Pausanias, Charlotte Ribeyrol
12. Pater on Sculpture, Elizabeth Prettejohn
13. Pater and Greek Religion, Robert Fowler
Introduction to Part 4
14. Pater's Heraclitus: Irony and the Historical Method, Giles Whiteley
15. Animism and Metaphysics in Pater's Platonism, Lee Behlman and Kurt Lampe
16. Pater and Nettleship: A Platonic Education and the Politics of Disciplinarity, Daniel Orrells
17. The Ethics of Contemplation: Pater's Reading of Aristotle, Adam Lee
Afterword, Stephen Bann
General Bibliography on Pater and the Classics