Rediscovering E. R. Dodds: Scholarship, Education, Poetry, and the Paranormal

ISBN : 9780198777366

Christopher Stray; Christopher Pelling; Stephen Harrison
368 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
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Rediscovering E. R. Dodds offers the first comprehensive assessment of a remarkable classical scholar, who was also a poet with extensive links to twentieth-century English and Irish literary culture, the friend of Auden and MacNeice. Dodds was born in Northern Ireland, but made his name as Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford from 1936 to 1960, succeeding Gilbert Murray. Before this he taught at Reading and Birmingham, was active in the Association of University Teachers, or AUT (of which he became president), and brought an outsider's perspective to the comfortable and introspective world of Oxford. His famous book The Greeks and the Irrational (1951) remains one of the most distinguished and visionary works of scholarship of its time, though much less well-known is his long and influential involvement with psychic research and his work for the reconstruction of German education after the Second World War. The contributions to this volume seek to shed light on these less explored areas of Dodds' life and his significance as perhaps the last classicist to play a significant role in British literary culture, as well as examining his work across different areas of scholarship, notably Greek tragedy. A group of memoirs - one by his pupil and former literary executor, Donald Russell, and three by younger friends who knew, visited, and looked after Dodds in his last years - complement this portrait of the influential scholar and poet, offering a glimpse of the man behind the legacy.


List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
1 Christopher Stray and Christopher Pelling: Introduction: A Missing Person?
2 Christopher Stray: An Irishman Abroad
3 Renaud Gagne: The Battle for the Irrational: Greek Religion 1920 1950
4 N. J. Lowe: The Rational Irrationalist: Dodds and the Paranormal
5 Robert Parker: The Greeks and the Irrational
6 Scott Scullion: 'The road of excess': Dodds and Greek Tragedy
7 R. B. Rutherford: Dodds and Plato: The Gorgias Edition
8 Anne Sheppard: Dodds's Influence on Neoplatonic Studies
9 Teresa Morgan: Pagans and Christians: Fifty Years of Anxiety
10 John Dillon: Dodds, Plotinus, and Stephen MacKenna
11 Tom Walker: 'the lonely flight of Mind': W. B. Yeats, Louis MacNeice and the Metaphysical Poetry of Dodds's Scholarship
12 Peter McDonald: The Deaths of Tragedy: The Agamemnon of MacNeice, Dodds, and Yeats
13 David Phillips: Dodds and Educational Policy for a Defeated Germany
14 Ruth Padel, Helen Ganly, Oswyn Murray, and Donald Russell: Memories of E. R. Dodds
E. R. Dodds: A Bibliography of his Publications
General Bibliography

About the author: 

Christopher Stray is Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology at Swansea University, and Associate Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London. He has held visiting positions at Wolfson College, Cambridge
the Beinecke Library, Yale University
and at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He works on the history and sociology of classical teaching and learning at school and university level, and has also published on examinations, institutional slang, and textbooks. He contributed three chapters to The History of Oxford University Press (OUP, 2013), and is currently working on contributions to a forthcoming history of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Christopher Pelling is Emeritus Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford. He occupied that chair from 2003 to 2015, and before that was McConnell Laing Fellow and Praelector in Classics at University College, Oxford, where he is now an Honorary Fellow. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and also served as the President of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies from 2006 to 2008 and President of the International Plutarch Society from 2008 to 2011. Among his books are Literary Texts and the Greek Historian (Routledge, 2000), Plutarch and History (The Classical Press of Wales, 2002), Twelve Voices from Greece and Rome: Ancient Ideas for Modern Times (with Maria Wyke
OUP, 2014), and Herodotus and the Question Why (University of Texas Press, 2019).
Stephen Harrison is Professor of Latin Literature at the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and also visiting professor at the universities of Copenhagen and Trondheim. He has held other visiting appointments and fellowships at the universities of Bergen, Otago, Cape Town, Stanford, the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. He has published extensively on Latin literature and its reception, including the following volumes: Generic Enrichment in Vergil and Horace (OUP, 2007), Living Classics: Greece and Rome in Contemporary Poetry in English (edited volume
OUP, 2009), and Louis MacNeice: The Classical Radio Plays (co-edited with Amanda Wrigley
OUP, 2013).

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