Defence of poetry

Hugh Lloyd-Jones

  • Enemies of Poetry by W.B. Stanford
    Routledge, 181 pp, £8.95, February 1980, ISBN 0 7100 0460 5
  • The Idea of a Theatre: the Greek Experience by M.I. Finley
    British Museum, 16 pp, £95.00, February 1980, ISBN 0 7141 1267 4

Professor Stanford, who this year retires from the Regius Chair of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin after 40 years in office, feels that ‘creative literature is being used more and more as material for history or archaeology or psychology.’ He therefore sets out to defend the poetic element in literature against disparagement and neglect. He cites much modern as well as ancient literature, and seems to wish his book to be relevant to modern as well as ancient poetry, but much of what he says seems principally concerned with the case of Greek studies.

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