This radical series shows how Classical ideas and material have helped to shape the modern world.
The interdisciplinary and intercultural approach makes stimulating reading for anyone thinking about the Classical world for the first time and for all who welcome the challenge offered by new perspectives on Classical culture.
This book rethinks the characterization of two highly contrastive forms of ancient literary tradition - epic and novel - and re-frames their function as dynamic points of reference in the history of ideas and in our understanding of the interface between antiquity and the modern.
Epic and novel have often been construed in terms of sharp contrasts: temporally, with the epic anchored in the canonical beginnings of classical literature, as opposed to the novel, which rises only late in the ancient era; hierarchically, with epic regularly occupying the canonical core while the novel often resided in the periphery; and in terms of specific highly contrasting attributes: 'sublime' vs. 'subversive'; an aspiration to 'oral' song vs. an intimate association with book culture; heroic vs. 'anti-heroic' or 'mock-heroic'. Ahuvia Kahane here argues for the fallibility of each of several major differential attributes, to the point of generic disintegration.
He then sets out to construct a new understanding of epic and novel in antiquity as part of a more fragile, dynamic framework, governed by intertextuality and openness on the one hand, and by fragmented interpretive traditions on the other.