In previous posts I talked about three aspects of narrative fiction: the synthetic, the mimetic, and the thematic. These aspects, in my view, are simultaneous and inseparable, but it can be useful for the analyst to pry them apart, or at least to consider them as if they could be pried apart. In my previous … Continue reading The Furniture of Fiction
In this post and a few following I want to look at the mimetic aspect of narrative, the building of a narrative world. The word mimesis is complicated. Literary critics tend to equate mimesis and realism. You can see this bias in the title of Erich Auerbach’s great study, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in … Continue reading The “Real” and the “Realistic”
Recently I’ve been posting on topics in classical philology, but I thought I would switch gears a little and write about another aspect of my work, the philological analysis of literature in general. These new posts will deal with new topics, topics I’m still exploring. This is very much work in progress, subject to revision, … Continue reading Three Questions
In recent posts I’ve been considering whether or not the ancient Greeks believed in their myths. The answer, I suppose, is Well, yes, sort of, but in a complicated way that varied from person to person and situation to situation. In this post I want to look at a more specific question. I’m engaged in … Continue reading What Did Pausanias Believe?
One of the characteristic features of myth is variability. A novel has an author, and the author has the authority to say, “This is my novel, and you can’t change it. You can’t have Elizabeth Bennet run off with Mr. Collins. She marries Mr. Darcy, and that’s it.” A living author has legal rights to … Continue reading Which Version Do You Mean?
In this series of posts I’m mostly interested in exploring what the ancient travel writer Pausanias has to say about local myth and local ritual in ancient Greece, but a number of people have asked me to say something about whether or not the ancient Greeks believed their myths. That’s an interesting question—it’s a question … Continue reading Can You Believe It?
In the last couple of posts I’ve been discussing local myth in ancient Greece, as found in The Guide to Greece, a travel guide written by Pausanias back in the second century AD. I’ve been trying to show that the local version of a myth can be quite different from the Panhellenic version that was … Continue reading Muddy Artemis and Other Tall Tales
In my last post I began to talk about myth and ritual in ancient Greece, and I made a distinction between local myth and ritual on the one hand and Panhellenic myth and ritual on the other. My current project is an investigation of local myth and ritual. A good place to start this investigation … Continue reading Who Killed Medea’s Children?
As I look back over the essays I’ve posted over the last year, I see that I haven’t posted much about Classical Philology per se. That’s odd. Classical Philology is the foundation for most of what I do, even when I talk about modern literature; the method and the manner of my work depend on … Continue reading Local and Panhellenic Myth and Ritual
Happy Birthday, Blog I’ve been running this blog for just a year now—I posted the first essay on July 12, 2020—and I thought this would be an appropriate moment to think (out loud, as it were) about what I’ve been doing and what I might do in the future. I have enjoyed writing and posting … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Blog