Openings: Narrative Beginnings from the Epic to the Novel

Openings: Narrative Beginnings from the Epic to the Novel

by A. D. Nuttall
     
 

What is the difference between a natural beginning and the beginning of a story? Some deny that there are any beginnings in nature, except perhaps for the origin of the universe itself, suggesting that elsewhere there is only a continuum of events, into which beginnings are variously "read" by different societies. This book argues that history is full of

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Overview

What is the difference between a natural beginning and the beginning of a story? Some deny that there are any beginnings in nature, except perhaps for the origin of the universe itself, suggesting that elsewhere there is only a continuum of events, into which beginnings are variously "read" by different societies. This book argues that history is full of real beginnings but that poets and novelists are indeed free to begin their stories wherever they choose. The ancient poet Homer laid down a rule for his successors when he began his epic by plunging in media res, "into the midst of things." Later writers, however, persistently play off the natural beginning: Genesis or the birth of a child. Meanwhile, the inspiring Muse of epic gives way to the poet's ego, dies, revives, and dies again.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198117414
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/1992
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1The Beginning of the Aeneid1
2The Commedia33
3Paradise Lost74
4The Prelude114
5Tristram Shandy151
6David and Pip171
7The Sense of a Beginning201
Epilogue233
Index251

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