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Mr Simon Smets
Mr Simon Smets profile picture
  • Student
  • Dept of Greek & Latin
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Simon is at University College London working on his PhD project entitled 'Authorship and Narrative Design in Renaissance Latin Letter Collections'.  At the same time, he is a Junior Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, where he works on an annotated edition with English translation of Basinio da Parma's epic poem 'Hesperis' (to be published with Brill in 2022). Simon is also interested in 20th- and 21st-century reception of the classical and neo-Latin heritage, and the place of Latin in relation to other literatures. He is member of the organising committee of the international research network “Literatures without Borders. A Historical-Comparative Study of Premodern Literary Transnationality.”
Research Summary

Authorship and Narrative Design in Renaissance Latin Letter Collections 1470-1520

This project shows for the first time how 15th-century humanists crafted their letter collections into autonomous narratives. These narratives transcend historical accuracy and even self-promotion to construct a literary product. They use specific signposting to guide the reader through a fragmented collection to an understanding of its overarching sense. Such a reading destabilises our current conception of these letters as historical accounts of their author’s personal experiences or intellectual development. The result is a new awareness of their multifaceted and gripping literary character.

Teaching Summary
Simon has developed and taught courses on Classical Reception and a Neo-Latin reading class at the University of Innsbruck. In addition, he has given a guest class at Moscow State University on the roots and reception of Neo-Latin epic poetry.
01-FEB-2019 Junior Researcher Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies  , Austria
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