Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel: Returning Romance

Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel: Returning Romance

by Tim Whitmarsh


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Narrative and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel: Returning Romance by Tim Whitmarsh

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 fresh 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107491021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/29/2015
Series: Greek Culture in the Roman World Series
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Tim Whitmarsh is a leading literary and cultural critic of the Greek world during the time of the Roman Empire. A specialist in both ancient texts and modern theories, he has written over fifty articles and five books, including Greek Literature and the Roman Empire (2001) and The Second Sophistic (2005). He has also edited or coedited four books, and edits two book series.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Returning Romance; 1. First romances: Chariton and Xenophon; 2. Transforming romance: Achilles Tatius and Longus; 3. Hellenism at the edge: Heliodorus; Part II. Narrative and Identity: 4. Pothos; 5. Telos; 6. Limen; Conclusion; Appendix: the extant romances and the larger fragments.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

'A highly intelligent study that is indubitably the result of profound meditation on the texts … Anyone studying the history of the novel should take a look at Whitmarsh's book.' The Observer

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