Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

Gerry Quinn gerryq at indigo.ie
Thu Sep 24 12:44:57 EST 1998


In article <6udl7o$31r$1 at quine.mathcs.duq.edu>, juola at mathcs.duq.edu (Patrick Juola) wrote:
>In article <6udgpo$iil$2 at news.indigo.ie>, Gerry Quinn <gerryq at indigo.ie> wrote:

>>
>>What's so modern about the 'modern novel'?  Despite the accretions of 
>>literary theory, the novel (as depiction of fictitious events 
>>befalling fictitious persons) was well developed in the ancient world.
>
>Really?  Find a novel prior to 1000ad that
>
>        a) Purports to tell events "realistically" (e.g. no allegories)
>        b) Is expressly about characters that are not supposed to
>                have existed (e.g. no epics about legendary heroes)
>
>Both the _Bible_ and Homer's canon, for instance, are supposedly
>about people who really existed and were treated as such by their
>audiences.
>

Even if the Greeks believed in Oddyseus, the Romans surely knew that 
Virgil made up the Aeneid!  And then there are the writers such as 
Longus of Lesbos, or Heliodorus.

It is my understanding that these novels were treated as a form of 
drama or comedy, rather than as a specific genre.  Nevertheless, they 
(like more generic dramas or comedies) are made up stories about 
fantastic adventures, generally with a soupcon of erotic content.  Don 
Quixote and Moll Flanders are their direct heirs...

- Gerry



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  gerryq at indigo.ie  (Gerry Quinn)
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