Warning ed., Rezeptionsdisthetik. Theorie und Praxis 2 (Munich 1979) 228-252, here 232. This passage is not included in the English translation of the article "Indeterminacy and the Reader's Response in Prose Fiction," in J. Hillis Miller ed., Aspects of Narrative: Selected Papers from the English Institute (New York 1971) 1-45. 19 A similar, though less far-reaching, interpretation of the poetological remarks in Cal- limachus' epigrams has been proposed by D. Meyer, "Die Einbeziehung des Lesers in den Epigrammen des Kallimachos," in Harder/Regtuit/Wakker 161-175, 172: "Wichtig scheint mir daran, daB wir es nicht mit einer losgelbsten Reflexion des Autors zu tun haben, sondern daB es sich hier um eine Verstaindigung fiber Fragen der Asthetik mit den zeitgenissischen Lesern-etwa mit Dichterkollegen-handeln muB." See also A. Kbhnken, "SchluBpointe und Selbstdistanz bei Kallimachos," Hermes 101 (1973) 425-441, 438 (on ep. 21 Pf.). This content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:21:44 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
"I Hate All Common Things" 157 writing for a small elite of courtiers and fellow poets.20 Rather, his strategy is to flatter his readers by letting them know how clever they are. I will show that this was a traditional device which can be found in poetry well before the Hellenistic age. Seen from this perspective, the seemingly exclusive technique of emphasizing the difficulty and allu- siveness of his poems can paradoxically be read as an inclusive device, an elaboratekind of captatio benevolentiae. In the second step, I will show how this rhetorical purpose of the poetological program can be illustrated at work in other passages of Callimachus' poems as well. Only after analysing this communicative function will I attempt to inte- grate the results of my reading into the historical context of Calli- machus' poetry and thus explore why this kind of writing seemed attractive to so many poets (and readers) at this particular time. The prologue to Callimachus' Aetia begins with a summary of the Telchines' reproaches: they scold him because he does not write a long, continuous poem (,v 6~Eto~a 6utvEKgI)21 about the deeds of kings and heroes (1-6). The poet defends himself by arguing that poetry must not be judged by the measuring rod. He cites examples to show that small and refined things are always superior to the big and misshapen (7-20). He then quotes Apollo's authority: the god has once told him that poetry ought to be delicate (X~ieQaXv),22 not fat, and that he ought to 20 This has been the accepted opinion in the past, see, e.g., the quotation from D. Meyer in n. 19 above, M. Hose, "Der alexandrinische Zeus: Zur Stellung der Dichtkunst im Reich der ersten Ptolemdier," Philologus 141 (1997) 46-64, 46-47, or E.-R. Schwinge, Kiinstlichkeit von Kunst: Zur Geschichtlichkeit der alexandrinischen Poesie (Munich 1986 [Zetemata 84]) 23. Somewhat more cautiously S.