Description

Cambridge University Press, London (...), 1970. Reprint 1st ed. XIII,283p. Hard bound with dust wrps. Ex libris glued to free endpaper. Nice copy. 'The formal element which played so large a part in Latin writing, 'the sound and movement and architectonics of the language', have been neglected, and to supply the lack of an adequate English treatment of such matters Wilkinson has written this book. It is divided into three parts, Sound, Rhythms, and Structure. The first part deals with Verbal Music, that is, the pursuit of euphony for its own sake, and Expressiveness, the use of sound and rhythms in support of the subject- matter - what is often loosely called onomatopoeia. (...) He expounds and illustrated the expressive techniques of the Latin poets and only rarely does he fail to carry conviction. The second part deals with both verse and prose rhythms. A general discussion of accent, quantity, ictus, and caesura is followed by a detailed treatment of the lyric and dactylic verse. Here the author is concerned not so much to give the facts (this is not a handbook of metric) as to explain. (...) The theory of prose rhythm Wilkinson describes as 'a vast and varied jungle', in some areas at least 'destined to be for ever impenetrable.' He does (...) give a valuable survey of ancient and modern theories of the subject and of ciceronian practice, with a glance at that of the historians. The last part deals firstly with periodic prose, secondly with the 'architectonics of verse', and finally with word patterns. (...) 'I have tried to be readable,' says Wilkinson in his introduction. He has been remarkably successful. The facts and arguments are presented in an attractive and often entertaining way (...), and the book is enlivened by anecdote and apt quotation.' (M.L. CLARKE in The Classical Review (New Series), 1964, pp.60-61).

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