uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum -- Q. Aurelius Symmachus, 384 C.E.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Grand Scheme of Things: Narrative Deceit in the Greek Novel


This is a talk I gave as part of the Fall Colloquium series at the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota, where I am completing my Ph.D. For the handout that accompanied this talk, please click here. If you wish to follow along with a text of the paper, it can be found here.


Abstract:

The Grand Scheme of Things
Narrative Deceit in the Greek Novel
Taking cues from the plots and schemes in New Comedy, the early novelists made heavy use of narrative deceit throughout their prose romances, in many ways laying the groundwork for the sort of narratives that have currency today. By comparing two of the earliest extant Greek novels, we can see a process developing that will enable innovative narrative modes in later works, modes in which schemes and stratagems deceive not only the characters but even the readers.

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