Svetlana Kleiner, Michael Pozdnev Zieliński’s «chronological inconsistency»: The Epinomis Vol. 1. No. 1. 2016

Publication Details

Zieliński’s «chronological inconsistency»: The Epinomis
Title in the language of publication:

Хронологическая несовместимость» Ф. Ф. Зелинского: Послезаконие

Author:
Svetlana Kleiner
PhD in Philology, Junior Researcher at the Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Address: 9 Tuchkov Lane, St. Petersburg 199053, Russia.
Michael Pozdnev
Doctor of Philology, Professor at the Department of Classical Philology of the Faculty of Philology of the Saint Petersburg State University.
Address: 7/9 Universitetskaya emb., St. Petersburg 199034, Russia.
Issue:
P. 367–377.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
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Abstract

Tadeusz Zieliński’s “Law of Chronological Inconsistency”, as is generally known, concerns the impossibility of simultaneous actions in the Homeric epics. Zieliński defines four modes of dealing with such actions: 1. one action remains hanging while the other continues (this case is the most apparent; its discovery seems to have inspired the scholar to point out the further three, which are by far less universal), 2. one action unfolds but the course of the other is only traced; it will meet the first at some point, 3. the parallel action is not shown at all, thus leaving a “sensible gap”, 4. to describe parallel actions as consecutive.
The rebirth of interest in Zieliński’s law in the last two decades manifested by a number of discussions and a selective English translation of his German essay on the subject has not yet resulted in a thorough monographic study — partly because the reference works still exist mostly in Russian, partly due to the marginalizing the principle of inconsistency as commonplace in modern folkloristics and narratology. The examples given by Zieliński should however be re-examined. The main point of interest lies in demonstrating that Zieliński’s interpretations are largely influenced by his epoch. He wants, for instance, to be told by Homer how the Trojans came to the idea that they should attack the Achaeans after the Pandar’s peace-breaking shot, when he stroke Menelaus by an arrow. This is the point of view of a tolerant European of the Vorkriegszeit. However, by narrating about negotiations in Troy, Homer would destroy the effect of surprise; the impression of Trojans as treacherous enemies would be lost. In other cases Homer, as well as the narrators of the Russian Byliny or other epic songs, is focused on the act of the greatest interest leaving the parallel acts without mention. Homer shows no incapacity in describing simultaneous actions as simultaneous. What his narrative style really exhibits is economy of the audience’s attention.

Keywords

Homer, Zieliński, classical philology, folklore, epic, Homeric question, chronological inconsistency, narrative techniques.

References 

Gavrilov A. K. (2011) “F. F. Zieliński v kontekste russkoi kul’tury” [T. S. Zieliński in the context of Russian culture]. Gavrilov A. K. O filologakh i filologii. Stat’i i vystupleniya raznykh let [On Philologists and Philology. Articles and Addresses of Various Years]. St. Petersburg: Izd. SPbU: 101–111. (in Russian).

Homerus (1949) Ilias (tr. by V. V. Veresayev). Moscow; Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo khudozhestvennoi literatury. (in Russian).

Homerus (1990) Ilias (tr. by N. I. Gnedich). Leningrad: Nauka (Literaturnye pamyatniki [Literary monuments]). (in Russian).

Mikhailova T. A., Shkunaev S. V. (coll.) (1985) Táin Bó Cúailnge (tr., article, notes by T. A. Mikhailova, S. V. Shkunaev). Moscow: Nauka (Literaturnye pamyatniki [Literary monuments]). (in Russian).

Nitzsch G. W. (1852) Die Sagenpoesie Der Griechen. Kritisch Dargestellt. Drei Būcher. Braunschweig: C. A. Schwetschke & Sohn (M. Bruhn).

Scodel R. (2008) “Zieliński’s Law Reconsidered”. Transactions of the American Philological Association. Vol. 138. No. 1. P. 107–125.

ΧΑΡΙΣΤΉΡΙΑ (1896) ΧΑΡΙΣΤΉΡΙΑ. Sbornik statei po filologii i lingvistike v chest’ Fedora Evgenievicha Korsha, zasluzhennogo professora Imperatorskogo Moskovskogo universiteta [ΧΑΡΙΣΤΉΡΙΑ. A collection of articles on philology and linguistics in celebration of Fyodor Evgenievich Korsch, honored professor of the Imperial Moscow University]. Moscow: Tipografiya Lissnera i Romana. (in Russian).

Zieliński T. S. (1900) “Starye i novye puti v gomerovskom voprose. Retsenziya na knigu: S. Shestakov. O proiskhozhdenii poem Gomera. Vyp. 2. O proiskhozhdenii ‘Iliady’: Etyud iz istorii literatury gomerovskogo voprosa i analiz ‘Iliady’ s tochki zreniya teorii zerna. Kazan: tipografiya Kazanskogo universiteta, 1899. 509 s.” [The old and new paths in the Homeric question. Book review: S. Shestakov. On the origin of Homer’s poems. Issue 2. On the origin of the Iliad: An etude from the history of the literature on the Homeric question and an analysis of the Iliad from the perspective of the theory of grain. Kazan: tipografiya Kazanskogo universiteta, 1899. 509 p.]. Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniya. Ch. CCCXXIX. 1900. Otd. 2 [The Journal of the Ministry of Education. Vol. CCCXXIX (1900). Issue 2]: 167–195. (in Russian).

Zieliński T. (1901) “Die Behandlung gleichzeitiger Ereignisse im alten Epos”. Philologus. Bd. 8. No. 3. S. 405–449.

© Svetlana Kleiner, 2016  © Michael Pozdnev, 2016

Tadeusz Zielinski Law of Chronological Inconsistency and the Composition of the “Iliad” Vol. 1. No. 1. 2016

Publication Details

Law of Chronological Inconsistency and the Composition of the “Iliad”
Title in the language of publication: Закон хронологической несовместимости и композиция Илиады
Author:
Tadeusz Zielinski
1859–1944. A prominent Russian and Polish classical philologist, historian, translator of Sophocles, Euripides and other classical authors into Russian, professor at the University of St. Petersburg (1890–1922), then at Warsaw University (1922–1939).
Preparing the text for publication
Prep. by Svetlana Kleiner and Oleg Nogovitsin.
Svetlana Kleiner
PhD in Philology, Junior Researcher at the Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Address: 9 Tuchkov Lane, St. Petersburg 199053, Russia.
Oleg Nogovitsin
PhD in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Associate Research Fellow at the Sociological institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Address: 25/14 7-ya Krasnoarmeyskaya str., St. Petersburg 190005, Russia.
Issue:
P. 347–366.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
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References 

Bekker Imm. (1853) “Über das zwanzigste Buch der Odyssee”. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin. Jahrgang 1853: 643–652.

Bekker Imm. (1863) “Über das zwanzigste Buch der Odyssee”. Bekker Imm. Homerischs Blätter. 2 Bände. Bd. 1. Bonn: Bei Adolph Marcus: 123–132.

Bergk Th. (1872) Griechische Literaturgeschichte. 4 Bände. Bd. 1. Berlin: Weimannsche Buchhanndlung.

Curtius G. (1854) Andeutungen über den gegenwärtigen Stand der homerischen Frage. Wien: Verlag und Druck Carl Gerold und Sohn (First edition in the magazine: Zeitschrift für die Österreichischen Gymnasien. Bd. 5: 1–23).

Curtius G. (1886) “Andeutungen über den gegenwärtigen Stand der homerischen Frage”. Curtius G. Ausgewählte Abhandlungen wissenschaftlichen Inhalts (hg. v. E. Windisch). Leipzig: S. Hirzel: 176–229.

Hüttig C. (1886) Zur Charakteristik homerischer composition. Züllichau: Druk von Herm. Hampel.

Nitzsch G. W. (1852) Die Sagenpoesie Der Griechen. Kritisch Dargestellt. Drei Būcher. Braunschweig: C. A. Schwetschke & Sohn (M. Bruhn).

Seeck O. (1887) Die Quellen der Odyssee. Berlin: F. Siemenroth.

Steinthal H. (1868) “Das Epos”. Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft. Bd. 5: 1–57.

Steinthal H. (1871) “Ueber Homer und insbesondere die Odyssee”. Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft. Bd. 7: 1–88.

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© Thaddeus Zielinski, 2016  © Svetlana Kleiner, prep., 2016  © Oleg Nogovitsin, prep., 2016

(Русский) Ф. Ф. Зелинский. Закон хронологической несовместимости и композиция Илиады.

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