Centones: Recycled Art or the Embodiment of Absolute Intertextuality?



Year of publication 2007
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper discusses the controversy over literary legitimacy of the late antique centos, i.e. patchwork poems composed of quotations from Homer or Virgil. A succinct historical overview of the cento poetry is followed by a commentary on the cento poetics articulated by Ausonius in his prefatory letter to the Cento Nuptialis. Further, the author presents some of the characteristic examples of cento criticism. The modes of production of the cento texts are consequently examined from the perspective of modern reception theories, the poststructuralist concept of intertextuality, and, last but not least, the Saussurean differential theory of language. The author comes to the conclusion that the cento is actually a highly innovative and perfectly legitimate literary form.
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