Marco Formisano (Univ. Gent): The Elephant in the Room: the Latin Macrotext

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In this paper Prof. Formisano will consider the possibility of reading (Latin)
texts from a different perspective than intertextuality whose major
goal is to create historical affiliations between texts, and he turns
instead to macrotextuality. The most important feature of the macrotext is that it produces a
meaning that not only differs, but ends up entering in conflict with
the meaning produced by the single units that compose it. This
conflict can arise both from the text itself and from the non-verbal
communication of the text, such as its structure. He will apply it
to some examples from Latin literature (Vergil, Vitruvius, the
Panegyrici Latini, Augustine).

Marco Formisano is Professor of Latin Literature at Ghent University (Belgium). He has published extensively on late Latin literature, ancient technical and scientific writing (especially art of war), the martyr acts (especially Perpetua), and reception of antiquity. Publications include Tecnica e scrittura (Rome 2001); editions of Vegetius’ Epitoma rei militaris and the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis; War in Words. Transformations of War from Antiquity to Clausewitz (co-edited with Hartmut Böhme, Berlin-New York 2011); Perpetua’s Passions (co-edited with Jan Bremmer, OUP 2012); Knowledge, Text and Practice in Ancient Technical Writing (co-edited with Philip van der Eijk, Cambridge 2016) and Vitruvius. Text, Architecture, Reception (co-edited with Serafina Cuomo, special issue of Arethusa, 2016). He is currently working on two book projects, one on the macrotext in Latin literature and the other on masochism and ancient literature.