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Mythos, Fiktion, Geschichte: Ein Beitrag zum „Realismus“ der antiken Romane


Tilg, Stefan (2010). Mythos, Fiktion, Geschichte: Ein Beitrag zum „Realismus“ der antiken Romane. Ancient Narrative, 9:1-16.

Abstract

In this paper it is argued that the description of literary narrative in ancient rhetoric could have provided Greek and Roman novelists with a critical vocabulary, and that this vocabulary is reflected in their works. The major category by and against which novelists define their writing turns out to be μῦθος / fabula, which implies the idea of an unreal and unlikely narrative. An analysis of the most significant passages is followed by the conclusion that the first novels, which were posing as history, avoided looking unreal and unlikely, while later novelists were free to play with the concept of μῦθος / fabula on an individual basis. Given that exactly the Roman novels (and Achilles Tatius) are most defined by μῦθος / fabula, the result also questions our modern critical vocabulary according to which these novels are often called ‘realistic’.

In this paper it is argued that the description of literary narrative in ancient rhetoric could have provided Greek and Roman novelists with a critical vocabulary, and that this vocabulary is reflected in their works. The major category by and against which novelists define their writing turns out to be μῦθος / fabula, which implies the idea of an unreal and unlikely narrative. An analysis of the most significant passages is followed by the conclusion that the first novels, which were posing as history, avoided looking unreal and unlikely, while later novelists were free to play with the concept of μῦθος / fabula on an individual basis. Given that exactly the Roman novels (and Achilles Tatius) are most defined by μῦθος / fabula, the result also questions our modern critical vocabulary according to which these novels are often called ‘realistic’.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Greek and Latin Philology
Dewey Decimal Classification:470 Latin & Italic languages
480 Classical & modern Greek languages
Language:German
Date:2010
Deposited On:03 Dec 2010 16:02
Last Modified:02 May 2016 20:17
Publisher:Barkhuis
ISSN:1568-3532
Related URLs:http://www.ancientnarrative.com/index.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-39647

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