This collection of essays, written over a period of almost thirty years, deals with one problem: who is the `I' in the odes of the most celebrated ancient Greek poet, Pindar? Since antiquity, the complex and allusive language of the first-person statements has provoked many different answers. Professor Lefkowitz describes the function and nature of Pindar's `I'-statements and proposes a controversial solution that would cause some histories of Greek literature to
be rewritten. Rather than accept the view that the identity of the speaker could be subject to instant and unannounced change, she proposes that the voice of the victory odes is the poet himself, in his most professional persona. Professor Lefkowitz also refutes the traditional belief that the
odes were sung by a chorus. She shows that in most, if not all cases, they were sung as solos and that Pindar was continuing the tradition established by the Homeric bards.
'rewarding, challening ... We are reading Pindar with someone keenly sensitive to poetic voice and who has over the years become ever more certain that there is a strong individual personality at the heart of the epinician odes.'
E. Robbins, University of Toronto, The Classical Review, Volume XLIII, No. 1 1993
'L. has found a new basis for the discussion of the odes ... L.'s emphasis on the laudator as a character in the poems offers a way of organizing and using these studies that is not reductionist ... and can lead to an appreciation of the poems as a unified body of work, epxressing one poet's intelligent understanding of the human experience.'
Joel B. Lidov, City University of New York, The Classical Journal 89.1, 1993, October-November
`her work has made it possible for her readers ever again to accept uncritically and as self-evident the meaning and function of first-person utterance in classical literature in general - and indeed beyond that...Students and scholars with a special interest will value it as another contribution from a highly original voice in Pindaric studies.'
The Journal of Hellenic Studies 113