Echoing Ideas in Discourse on Poetics : From Lowth’s parallelismus membrorum to Porthan’s rhythmus sensus

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Frog , M 2019 , ' Echoing Ideas in Discourse on Poetics : From Lowth’s parallelismus membrorum to Porthan’s rhythmus sensus ' , Journal of Finnish studies , vol. 23 , no. 1 , pp. 3–16 . < https://www.shsu.edu/eng_ira/finnishstudies/Finnish%20Tables%20of%20Content/JoFs_Vol%2023.1.pdf >

Title: Echoing Ideas in Discourse on Poetics : From Lowth’s parallelismus membrorum to Porthan’s rhythmus sensus
Author: Frog, Mr.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Folklore Studies
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Journal of Finnish studies
ISSN: 1206-6516
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/324636
Abstract: Scholarship customarily frames Henrik Gabriel Porthan’s discussion of parallelism as rhythmus sensus within a genealogy of Finnish scholars’ discussions of kalevalaic poetry. Porthan’s discussion appears somewhat more than a decade after Robert Lowth’s revolutionary study of poetics of biblical Hebrew, in which he coined the term ‘parallelism’ (parallelismus membrorum) for the phenomenon so widely recognized today. This modest paper explores eighteenth-century discourse on poetic parallelism to explicate the chain of works linking Porthan’s presentation of parallelism ultimately to that of Lowth. It illustrates how publications enabled the wide circulation of ideas. Academic convention allowed authors to reproduce references to and quotations from works to which they might have no access as though they had read them first hand. The chain from Lowth to Porthan includes this type of reproduction of information and quotations already at least once recontextualized in another author’s discussion as well as responses to such works. Each link in this chain seems to have been familiar only with the link immediately preceding it or perhaps two, with the consequence that the ideas become echoes from work to work, terminology is exchanged and translated while Lowth’s own name fades in the resonant discussion of the concept of parallelism, by which it is wholly eclipsed in Porthan’s work. At the same time, this study draws attention to how scholars construct genealogies of ideas in relation to their focus and interests, and these also become recirculated until they get interrogated from another perspective.
Subject: 6122 Literature studies
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