Contemporary scholarship on classical imitation tends to analyze the practice by dividing it up based on the subjects and objects of imitation. The result of this common procedure has been an anachronistic solidification of disciplinary lines among rhetoric, philosophy, and poetics. An equally relevant effect has been the polarization of the practices of imitation and those concerned with invention. This paper seeks to elaborate a different taxonomy with which to approach imitation, one that focuses primarily on the encounter between subjects and objects in the actual practice of imitation. By attending to the complex relations of repetition and variation across disciplinary lines, this new taxonomy offers insight into the often overlooked connections between imitation and invention in the intersecting realms of rhetoric, philosophy, and poetics.
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