How can we explain the process by which a literary text refers to another text? For the past decade and a half, intertextuality has been a central concern of scholars and readers of Roman poetry. In Intertextuality and the Reading of Roman Poetry, Lowell Edmunds proceeds from such fundamental concepts as "author," "text," and "reader," which he then applies to passages from Vergil, Horace, Ovid, and Catullus. Edmunds combines close readings of poems with analysis of recent theoretical models to argue that allusion has no linguistic or semiotic basis: there is nothing in addition to the alluding words that causes the allusion or the reference to be made. Intertextuality is a matter of reading.
Studded with striking observations and suggestive formulations. -- Charles Platter * Religious Studies Review *
Lowell Edmunds has written a book that provides what is expected and appreciated in a theoretical study: the scholarship is extensive and well organized into arguments which are themselves descriptive, provocative, challenging, and supported by a close reading of a variety of selections from Catullus, Horace, Vergil, and Ovid. -- David J. Kuyat * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
For the graduate student and for the consenting Latinist, this is a book which enters a debate with verve and commitment that should provoke yet further discussion. -- Simon Goldhill * Classical World *