The Ancient "Novel"
Full course for one semester. With its absurd plots and apparent lack of moral depth, its interest in travel and the exotic, its insistence on positive female protagonists, its longevity, and its unfavorable critical reception, the Greek “novel” is strikingly different from other classical genres. This seminar will study those novels that remain intact (
Daphnis and Chloe,Clitophon and Leucippe,
About Callirhoe, and
The Aethiopica), and compare them to their Roman counterparts (Petronius’
Satyricon and Apuleius’
Golden Ass). Topics studied will include characterization and narrative structure; the representation of the foreign; how the genre responded to its social context and to changes in that context over the four hundred years or more that it existed; the novels’ precursors, including the Odyssey; and what is at stake in the designation of these works as novels. All works will be read in translation. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 338. Not offered 2006-07.
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