The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative

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Overview

This is the story of how Western literature first developed its distinctive taste for the kind of tight, economical plotting still employed in modern fiction and cinema. The book shows how this taste was formed in Greco-Roman antiquity out of a series of revolutions in storytelling, centered on Homer, early tragedy, Hellenistic comedy, and the Greek love-novels of the early centuries AD. Along the way, it draws on cognitive science and current literary theory to offer a resilient yet accessible new theory of what "plot" is and how it works.

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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: 9780521771764
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. The Classical Plot: 1. Approaches; 2. A cognitive model; 3. The narrative universe; 4. The classical plot; 5. Unclassical plots; Part II. The Classical Plots: 6. Epic myth I: Iliad; 7. Epic myth II: Odyssey; 8. Dramatic myth: tragedy and satyr-play; 9. Dramatic fiction: New Comedy; 10. Epic fiction: the Greek novel; Conclusion; Glossary.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • 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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