Our group's research area is the history of Greek literature and its reception. We basically want to reconsider the theoretical terms which have been used to explained Greek texts from Antiquity to the present day: genres, modes, compositional schemes, concepts of literary theory ... and of course the texts themselves and  its philological work These ways of understanding the conception literature and the poet among the Greeks have had an impact both on the proposal of emendations, attributions or comparisons, and on the hermeneutic activity. We believe in the need to reexamine them, looking for appropriate methods that may allow a better understanding of the extant Greek literature, which involves finding new approaches to the study of ancient Greek literature and its history. It is a long term project; and at the moment we are working on confronting positions about key aspects of the Greek literary experience.

Our emphasis on reception refers more specifically to the confrontation between ancient and modern reception. Thus, the first meeting of the group (2010) was intended to confront the ancient and the modern views. But it goes further: as we have already mentioned, our project is aimed at identifying and reassessing the key aspects of ancient Greek literature. This is why the second meeting (2011) dealt with corality, one of the most peculiar aspects of the Greek literary experience, and the third (2013) will deal with corality and relationship between literature and history.



The main aim of our project is to create a method for the study of Greek literature based on two aspects: first, the distinction of the different levels of understanding of texts, in order to build an history of their reception, and second, identifyication of the categories of production and understanding of texts at the moment of their creation. Obviously, “reception” doesn't only mean “interpretation”, but also, for example, the production of texts starting from other texts, what in turn implies a reinterpretation, though not only that.

The final aim of this kind of study is the global reconsideration of the history of Greek literature from two perspectives that have been scarcely evaluated until now: as a series of literary systems (that is, essentially, systems of genres that are inserted, in different forms at different periods, into society) and from the point of view of reception.

This objective defined the themes of the first two group meetings. The first one, that took place in May, 20th and 21st 2010, focused on two questions regarding ancient Greek literature:

1. In what the modern reflection on performance is relevant for our interpretation of Greek literature?

2. Which are the “indigenous” representations of the texts we define as literature?

That is to say (using the terminology of modern anthropology) etic perspective and emic perspective, and their mutual relations. As it has been previously said, this is the main raison d'être of our group: comparison between these two perspectives in order to better understand the interpretative categories of the Greeks in the various periods.   

This was the aim of the second meeting (May 2011), focused on a theme that had arisen during the first one: chorality as an interpretative category of Greek literature. We all know what a chorus is. In Catalonia, as in other countries, choral practice is widespread and choruses exist in every city and most villages. Many of us have had direct or indirect experiences with choruses, but this doesn't mean we know what was the Greek chorus in the different periods of its history. For example, we don't have any experience of choral music related to literature: these are two totally independent things for us, while for Greeks it was not so, and we actually can find proof that this fact is crucial for the interpretation of texts.

There are a lot of studies on Greek choruses, from different perspectives: from the point of view of history, of rituality, of dance, as a civic phenomenon; there are also studies on choruses in different poetic manifestations... On the other hand, the chorus as an interpretative category of what we call literature has been scarcely studied (or, at least, not from a global perspective). To explore the possibilities of this focus has been the aim of the second meeting. The contributions to the 2012 and 2013 meetings related to this subject will be soon published.

Rethinking the history of Greek literature is something periodically needed, as it happens in every discipline. Perspectives, methods, expectations change, new more or less elaborated data are added, and sometimes it is necessary to put everything together and consider it from a global perspective. This is one of the ways in which it is possible to reach a new paradigm.

Now this is not yet possible. There is still too much dust of dispersed data (with the word “data” we refer to the evidence itdelf, but also to the set of methodologies, assumptions, perspectives, etc., that are also processable data for those who examine them). A preliminary work is needed to collect all the data, examine and evaluate them. On the other hand, in the past this kind of work could be done by one person (we have the “History of Greek literature” of one author or another, Lesky, Schmid-Stählin, Croiset...), while now this is impossible: there are manuals of Greek literature that are often useful, but the global reconsideration of the history of our discipline has to be realized by a group of people working from different perspectives.  

This will be the final aim of the group we have formed. Actually, we are not sure this is possible right now. We need first to perform the preliminary work we have started. But we think that this is a good moment for trying.