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Semi-Public Narration in Apollonius' Argonautica


Series:  
Authors:  Berkowitz G.
Year: 2004
ISBN: 978-90-429-1432-2
Pages: VI-162 p.
Price: 40 EURO


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Summary:
Ancient epic narrators can be termed "semi-public" because they address both public and private audiences. Public audiences exist outside the fictional context of the story, and private audiences exist within it. The narrator of Homer's «Iliad», for instance, addresses both the listeners and readers of the poem, and private narratees such as the character Patroklos. In Apollonius' «Argonautica», the narrator's semi-public nature is rather extraordinary. This is because the narrator is actually influenced by demands that the private narratees impose on him, and even by things that these narratees say to him. As a result, the narrator's own voice often resembles the voices of his characters, and the poem can, at times, seem like a dialogue between the two parties. In considering this apparent dialogue, «Semi-Public Narration in Apollonius' Argonautica» resolves a number of the serious interpretative difficulties with which scholars of the «Argonautica» have long been engaged.


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