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While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv

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While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 03:01
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While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conventionally ascribed to Homer has taken place in the last twenty years or so, it was nonspecialists rather than professional scholars who studied the poetic aspects of the Iliad and the Odyssey between, roughly, 1935 and 1970. During these years, while such nonacademic intellectuals as Simone Weil and Erich Auerbach were trying to define the qualities that made these epic accounts of the Trojan War and its aftermath great poetry, the questions that occupied the specialists were directed elsewhere: “Did the Trojan War really happen?” “Does the bard preserve Indo-European folk memories?” “How did the poems get written down?” Something was driving scholars away from the actual works to peripheral issues. Scholars produced books about archaeology, about gift-exchange in ancient societies, about the development of oral poetry, about virtually anything except the Iliad and the Odyssey themselves as unique reflections or distillations of life itself—as, in short, great poetry. The observations of the English poet Alexander Pope seemed as applicable in 1970 as they had been when he wrote them in 1715: according to Pope, the remarks of critics “are rather Philosophical, Historical, Geographic…or rather anything than Critical and Poetical.”
Ironically, the modern manifestation of this “nonpoetical” emphasis can be traced to the profoundly influential work of Milman Parry, who attempted to demonstrate in detail how the Homeric poems, believed to have been recorded nearly three thousand years ago, were the products of a long and highly developed tradition of oral poetry about the Trojan War. Parry proposed that this tradition built up its diction and its content by a process of constant accumulation and refinement over many generations of storytellers. But after Parry’s death in 1935, his legacy was taken up by scholars who, unlike Parry, forsook intensive analysis of the poetry itself and focused instead on only one element of Parry’s work: the creative limitations and possibilities of oral composition, concerning on fixed elements and inflexibilities, focusing on the things that oral poetry allegedly can and cannot do. The dryness if this kind of study drove many of the more inventive scholars away from the poems into the rapidly developing field of Homer’s archaeological and historical background.
Appropriately, Milman Parry’s son Adam was among those scholars responsible for a renewed interest in Homer’s poetry as literary art. Building on his father’s work, the younger Parry argued that the Homeric poems exist both within and against a tradition. The Iliad and the Odyssey were, Adam Parry thought, the beneficiaries of an inherited store of diction, scenes, and at the same time highly individual works that surpasses these conventions. Adam Parry helped prepare the ground for the recent Homeric revival by affirming his father’s belief in a strong inherited tradition, but also by emphasizing Homer’s unique contributions within that tradition.
Q1).Which one of the following best states the main idea of the passage?
(A) The Homeric poems are most fruitfully studied as records of the time and place in which they were written.
(B) The Homeric poems are the products of a highly developed and complicated tradition of oral poetry.
(C) The Homeric poems are currently enjoying a resurgence of critical interest after an age of scholarship largely devoted to the poems’ nonpoetic elements.
(D) The Homeric poems are currently enjoying a resurgence of scholarly interest after am age during which most studies were authored by nonacademic writers.
(E) Before Milman Parry published his pioneering work in the early twentieth century, it was difficult to assign a date or an author to the Homeric poems.

Q2). According to the passage, the work of Simone Weil and Erich Auerbach on Homer was primarily concerned with which one of the following?
(A) considerations of why criticism of Homer had moved to peripheral issues
(B) analyses of the poetry itself in terms of its literary qualities
(C) studies in the history and nature of oral poetry
(D) analyses of the already ancient epic tradition inherited by Homer
(E) critiques of the highly technical analyses of academic critics

Q3). The passage suggests which one of the following about scholarship on Homer that has appeared since 1970?
(A) It has dealt extensively with the Homeric poems as literary art.
(B) It is more incisive than the work of the Parrys.
(C) It has rejected as irrelevant the scholarship produced by specialists between 1935 and 1970.
(D) It has ignored the work of Simone Weil and Erich Auerbach.
(E) It has attempted to confirm that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written by Homer.

Q4). The author of the passage most probably quotes Alexander Pope (lines 24-26) in order to
(A) indicate that the Homeric poems have generally received poor treatment at the hands of English critics
(B) prove that poets as well as critics have emphasized elements peripheral to the poems
(C) illustrate that the nonpoetical emphasis also existed in an earlier century
(D) emphasize the problems inherent in rendering classical Greek poetry into modern English
(E) argue that poets and literary critics have seldom agreed the interpretation of poetry

Q5). According to the passage, which one of the following is true of Milman Parry’s immediate successors in the field of Homeric studies?
(A) They reconciled Homer’s poetry with archaeological and historical concerns.
(B) They acknowledged the tradition of oral poetry, but focused on the uniqueness of Homer’s poetry within the tradition.
(C) They occupied themselves with the question of what qualities made for great poetry.
(D) They emphasized the boundaries of oral poetry.
(E) They called for a revival of Homer’s popularity.

Q6). Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
(A) A situation is identified and its origins are examines.
(B) A series of hypotheses is reviewed and one is advocated.
(C) The works of two influential scholars are summarized.
(D) Several issues contributing to a currently debate are summarized.
(E) Three possible solutions to a long-standing problem are posed.


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New post 26 Dec 2018, 04:06
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+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

workout I hope this is fine
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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 04:21
GmatWizard wrote:
+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

workout I hope this is fine


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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 04:42
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Taxing passage. Got four out of six in 6 mins 39 sec.

Here are my explanations.

Main point question. Need to understand the flow of ideas presented by the author.
Q1).Which one of the following best states the main idea of the passage?

(A) The Homeric poems are most fruitfully studied as records of the time and place in which they were written. Too detailed and opposite of what the author is trying to convey
(B) The Homeric poems are the products of a highly developed and complicated tradition of oral poetry. True but too detailed to be the main point
(C) The Homeric poems are currently enjoying a resurgence of critical interest after an age of scholarship largely devoted to the poems’ nonpoetic elements. BINGO - precisely the main point as can be seen in the last paragraph - Parry Jr. efforts have left to a resurgence of studying Homeric texts in a literary and poetic manner vs. historical & facts based
(D) The Homeric poems are currently enjoying a resurgence of scholarly interest after am age during which most studies were authored by nonacademic writers. TRAP - first few words are what we are looking for but this is not the main point
(E) Before Milman Parry published his pioneering work in the early twentieth century, it was difficult to assign a date or an author to the Homeric poems. BS Option

Detail question - need to locate the two mentioned critics in the first para
Q2). According to the passage, the work of Simone Weil and Erich Auerbach on Homer was primarily concerned with which one of the following?

(A) considerations of why criticism of Homer had moved to peripheral issues WRONG - this is not true
(B) analyses of the poetry itself in terms of its literary qualities BINGO - the author mentions that only non specialists were looking at Homeric poems the right way ( i.e in a poetic way)
(C) studies in the history and nature of oral poetry Nah! This is not mentioned in first para
(D) analyses of the already ancient epic tradition inherited by Homer Irrelevant to the question
(E) critiques of the highly technical analyses of academic critics BS Option

Detail question but the location of the answer is tricky = refer to the first line of the passage to find it
Q3). The passage suggests which one of the following about scholarship on Homer that has appeared since 1970?
(A) It has dealt extensively with the Homeric poems as literary art. BINGO - this is the resurgence that is being talked about in the passage
(B) It is more incisive than the work of the Parrys. Nope - this is not true
(C) It has rejected as irrelevant the scholarship produced by specialists between 1935 and 1970. Too strong verbiage - "Has rejected as irrelevant" needs to be discarded
(D) It has ignored the work of Simone Weil and Erich Auerbach. BS Option - this is not at all the case as those two nonspecialists were doing the right thing before the specialists caught on
(E) It has attempted to confirm that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written by Homer. Never a point of contention , so another BS Option

Another detail question but the options are tricky!
Q4). The author of the passage most probably quotes Alexander Pope (lines 24-26) in order to
(A) indicate that the Homeric poems have generally received poor treatment at the hands of English critics TRAP - this is very close to what we are looking for but I guess the "English critics" ,akes this wrong
(B) prove that poets as well as critics have emphasized elements peripheral to the poems "Prove" is too strong a verbiage, Mr. Pope does no such thing
(C) illustrate that the nonpoetical emphasis also existed in an earlier century BINGO - the crux of why the author quotes Alexander Pope is to show that what was valid in 1715 was valid up until 1970
(D) emphasize the problems inherent in rendering classical Greek poetry into modern English Rendering what? BS Option likely
(E) argue that poets and literary critics have seldom agreed the interpretation of poetry Nope, no such agreement between poets and critics is discussed

Detail question - again tricky only because of the options. Found in the final paragraph of the passage
Q5). According to the passage, which one of the following is true of Milman Parry’s immediate successors in the field of Homeric studies?
(A) They reconciled Homer’s poetry with archaeological and historical concerns. HOLD Wrong because this is what the latter succesors did but not the immediate ones BIG TRAP
(B) They acknowledged the tradition of oral poetry, but focused on the uniqueness of Homer’s poetry within the tradition. Opposite, this is exactly what they did not do and what they ought to have done
(C) They occupied themselves with the question of what qualities made for great poetry. Opposite - same as above
(D) They emphasized the boundaries of oral poetry. Bingo - this is explicitly mentioned in paragraph two
(E) They called for a revival of Homer’s popularity. BS option

Structure - summary ind of question. An understanding of the main point is essential to answer this
Q6). Which one of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
(A) A situation is identified and its origins are examines. HOLD Why is this correct? The first line of the passage introduces a situation of resurgence and then the origin of that is discussed. Perfect!
(B) A series of hypotheses is reviewed and one is advocated. No hypothesis is advocated, this is a merely descriptive passage without a conclusion by the author
(C) The works of two influential scholars are summarized. Nah - there are no two focus authors in the passage
(D) Several issues contributing to a currently debate are summarized. Is this a current debate? Don't think so. Wrong.
(E) Three possible solutions to a long-standing problem are posed. BS Option. Three solutions? Discard

verdict - GOod passage with some tricks mostly in the options. :-)

Regards,
Gladi
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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2018, 13:13
Got 6/6 but took me 9+ minutes to solve (took me about 4 minutes to read and digest the passage...)
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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2018, 08:37
did this in 16mins (took 5:37 mins for reading)
1 wrong(question 5)
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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2019, 04:00
I got 4/6 correct and took around 11 mins to solve. I hope these type of passages will help me to improve accuracy.
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Re: While a new surge of critical interest in the ancient Greek poems conv &nbs [#permalink] 13 Jan 2019, 04:00
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