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PersiusA Study in Food, Philosophy, and the Figural$
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Shadi Bartsch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226241845

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226241982.001.0001

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The Self-Consuming Satirist

The Self-Consuming Satirist

Chapter:
(p.178) Chapter Five The Self-Consuming Satirist
Source:
Persius
Author(s):

Shadi Bartsch

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226241982.003.0005

Persius’ metaphors of food and sex seem to provide us with a stable interpretive framework for making sense of his satires, but upon closer inspection this framework collapses in a jumble of self-contradictions. This is intentional, for figural language is not, in Persius’ view, the place to be seeking a stable philosophical view of the world. Metaphor makes us attach emotion and value to the things of this earth that are, in Stoic terms, indifferents--even such shocking extremes as cannibalism and incest. In the end, the images of poetry and the warnings of philosophy join forces to help us give up the life of appearances for the more abstract life of Stoic realities.

Keywords:   protreptic, cannibalism, incest, Chrysippus, indifferents, metaphor, value, disgust, Stoicism, praemeditatio malorum

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