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Extra info for Albatros Aces of WWl part 2

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14 Janko’s hypotheses have since been refuted and are now generally derided. The subsequent appearance of the same set of terms and polemic against Peripatetics in the fourth book of Philodemus’ On Poems preserved on a Herculaneum papyrus,15 seemed to provide new fuel to the debate, and the press took notice. The New York Times ran headlines crediting Janko with the discovery of the real book featured in Eco’s novel. Janko’s discoveries were almost as felicitous as the fictional discovery posited by Eco of the lost second book (on comedy) of Aristotle’s Poetics (if not quite as exciting a read as Eco’s novel).

XXI 2288, and that this poem contained Sappho’s original address to Aphrodite referenced in fr. 1. But we need not conclude this. It is enough to know that in the edition read by Hephaistion and others, Sappho’s song seemed already to pre-exist her, to be resonating self-reflexively from the very first poem in the first book. Oxy. XXI 2288. A closer look at the papyrus reveals that part of the trace read by M. 30 The underlying layer is, curiously, not mentioned by Lobel, nor has it been noticed (to my knowledge) by any editor of Sappho.

Last week’s restorations can be demolished by next week’s new finds, and centuries of editorial conjecture toppled by a single new fragment. Anyone who works on fragments has to be the jack-of-all-trades, prepared to take on any medium—manuscripts (and their copying-errors), papyrus, wooden tablets, ostraca, parchment, vellum, and other skins, inscriptions carved on stone or incised with a sharp stylus on lead, silver, or wax. Fragments can be preserved in quotations, in the secondary tradition, and can be embedded in other fragments.

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Albatros Aces of WWl part 2


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