Reading The Rings of Saturn is an adventurous journey. Today it led me to have a look at the concept:
I find Ovid’s inconsistent use of the term very interesting, and wonder if Shakespeare’s locus amoenus actually have aspects of both Virgil’s & Ovid’s loci?
Locus amoenuslatin for “pleasant place”, locus amoenus is a literary term which generally refers to an idealized place of safety or comfort. A locus amoenus is usually a beautiful, shady lawn or open woodland, sometimes with connotations of Eden. In 1953, Ernst Robert Curtius wrote the concept’s definitive formulation in his European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. A locus amoenus will have three basic elements: trees, grass, and water. Often, the garden will be in a remote place and function as a landscape of the mind. It can also be used to highlight the differences between urban and rural life or be a place of refuge from the processes of time and mortality. Some gardens in the genre also have overtones of the regenerative powers of human sexuality. The literary use of this type of setting goes back, in Western literature at least, to Homer, and it became a staple of the pastoral works of poets such as Theocritus and Virgil. Horace (Ars poetica, 17) and the commentators on Virgil, such as Servius, recognize that descriptions of loci amoeni have become a rhetorical commonplace. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the function of the locus amoenus is inverted. Instead of offering a respite from dangers, it is itself usually the scene of violent encounters. In the works of William Shakespeare, the locus amoenus is the space that lies outside of city limits. It is where erotic passions can be freely explored, away from civilization and thus hidden from the social order which acts to suppress and regulate sexual behavior. It is mysterious and dark, a feminine place, as opposed to the rigid masculine civil structure. Examples can be found in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, …
A world of relative inaccessibility ART LITERATURE nature writing Poetry READING THE RINGS OF SATURN Reading to write Sebald urban jungle Wanderlust writing A Midsummer Night's Dream Ars poetica As You Like It books Eden Engraving Ernst Robert Curtius European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages Hendrik Goltzius Homer Horace horace ars poetica latin middle ages literature locus amoenus Metarmophoses Ovid Paradis pastoral works Sebald The Rings of Saturn Theocritus virgil w g sebald William Shakespeare works of william shakespeare
sketcher, reader, writer