Epic, Novel and the Progress of Antiquity

Epic, Novel and the Progress of Antiquity

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This book rethinks the characterization of two highly contrastive forms of ancient literary tradition - epic and novel - and re-frames their function as dynamic points of reference in the history of ideas and in our understanding of the interface between antiquity and the modern. Epic and novel have often been construed in terms of sharp contrasts: temporally, with the epic anchored in the canonical beginnings of classical literature, as opposed to the novel, which rises only late in the ancient era; hierarchically, with epic regularly occupying the canonical core while the novel often resided in the periphery; and in terms of specific highly contrasting attributes: 'sublime' vs. 'subversive'; an aspiration to 'oral' song vs. an intimate association with book culture; heroic vs. 'anti-heroic' or 'mock-heroic'.

Ahuvia Kahane here argues for the fallibility of each of several major differential attributes, to the point of generic disintegration. He then sets out to construct a new understanding of epic and novel in antiquity as part of a more fragile, dynamic framework, governed by intertextuality and openness on the one hand, and by fragmented interpretive traditions on the other.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 156 x 234mm | 453.59g
  • Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0715636774
  • 9780715636770

About Ahuvia Kahane

Ahuvia Kahane is Professor of Greek, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is the author of several books, including Homer: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2012) and A Companion to the Prologue of Apuleius' Metamorphoses (2000).
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