The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative

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Overview

From Homer to Hollywood, the Western storytelling tradition has canonised a distinctive set of narrative values characterised by tight economy and closure. This book traces the formation of that classical paradigm in the development of ancient storytelling from Homer to Heliodorus. To tell this story, the book sets out to rehabilitate the idea of 'plot', notoriously disconnected from any recognized system of terminology in recent literary theory. The first part of the book draws on current developments in narratalogy and cognitive science to propose a new way of formally describing the way stories are structured and understood. This model is then used to write a history of the emergence of the classical plot type in the four ancient genres that shaped it - Homeric epic, fifth-century tragedy, New Comedy, and the Greek novel - with new insights into the fundamental narrative poetics of each.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A rare, even unique offering." Choice

"This book deserves attention from tose interested in deep structures of Greek and dependent literary traditions." Donald Lateiner, Ohio University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521604451
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Preface
I The classical plot
1 Approaches 3
2 A cognitive model 17
3 The narrative universe 36
4 The classical plot 61
5 Unclassical plots 79
II The classical plots
6 Epic myth I: Iliad 103
7 Epic myth II: Odyssey 129
8 Dramatic myth: tragedy and satyr-play 157
9 Dramatic fiction: New Comedy 188
10 Epic fiction: the Greek novel 222
Conclusion 259
Glossary 264
Bibliography 269
Index 286
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Exceptional Work--well-worth one's investment

    This is an exceptional, authorative, and insightful work. It fills a serious void in the literature. Congratulations!

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