Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel: Returning Romance (Greek Culture in the Roman World)

Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel: Returning Romance (Greek Culture in the Roman World)

Tim Whitmarsh

Language: English

Pages: 313

ISBN: B004YPJ8XC

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Greek romance was for the Roman period what epic was for the Archaic period or drama for the Classical: the central literary vehicle for articulating ideas about the relationship between self and community. This book offers a reading of the romance both as a distinctive narrative form (using a range of narrative theories) and as a paradigmatic expression of identity (social, sexual and cultural). At the same time it emphasises the elasticity of romance narrative and its ability to accommodate both conservative and transformative models of identity. This elasticity manifests itself partly in the variation in practice between different romancers, some of whom are traditionally Hellenocentric while others are more challenging. Ultimately, however, it is argued that it reflects a tension in all romance narrative, which characteristically balances centrifugal against centripetal dynamics. This book will interest classicists, historians of the novel and students of narrative theory.

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sights’, has already suggested). Ancient rhetorical theory defined this as enargeia (or evidentia in Latin), an affective response to particularly vivid description (or ecphrasis);148 the psychological effect was often called phantasia, a term that seems to have begun life as a technical term of Stoicism, but became more generally associated with the powers of the imagination.149 Much work has been devoted to exploring the metanarrative role of visualisation in the romances, particularly in

Athenian invasion of 415–413 bce; his heroine is the daughter of the historical general Hermocrates). How can we explain the emergence of this genre at this particular historical juncture? In my introduction, I argued that we should not look to historical determinism alone to explain the emergence of the romance; we should be thinking of how individual authors creatively construct paradigms of identity rather than expecting them to reflect them passively. Over the course of this chapter, we shall

renders the verbless Greek phrase end¯emos apod¯emia, which is impossible to translate literally: end¯emos is an adjective meaning ‘in the polity’, apod¯emia a noun meaning ‘being away from the polity’. The most obvious way of taking the phrase, followed in all translations of which I know (including my own), is as given above: Clitophon is claiming that the city is so large that those in their own polity might feel abroad. But there is a problem here. Clitophon is not at home, end¯emos, indeed

(1989). See however Beck (2003) and Zeitlin (2008), who explore religious overtones more subtly. H¨agg (1983); Holzberg (1995). Similar claims have been made for the ‘Jewish novels’ of the Hebrew Bible: see e.g. Wills (1995) 3–6. Foucault (1990), followed by Konstan (1994); refinements in Goldhill (1995). This general approach is discussed by Morales (2008). See further below, pp. 159–60. Cooper (1996); Swain (1996) 101–31. Johne (1987), (2003); Egger (1988), (1994a), (1994b); Liviabella Furiani

bracketed with other theoplastic ‘Egyptians’. qeoplastoÓsi, 9.9.3. The claim that they ‘divinise’ (–kqei†zousin, 9.9.4) the Nile also implies scepticism. The Egyptians’ fondness for divinisation is a running theme: elsewhere we read of animals (–kqei†zetai, 2.27.3) and the Neiloa festival itself (–xeqe©azon, 9.22.5). ¾ polÆv leÛv, 9.9.3. kaª tautª m•n dhmosieÅousi, pr¼v d• toÆv mÅstav ö Isin tŸn g n kaª ï Osirin t¼n Ne±lon katagg”llousi, t‡ pr†gmata to±v ½n»masi metalamb†nontev. poqe± goÓn ˆp»nta

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