Download e-book for kindle: A Companion to Ancient Epic (Blackwell Companions to the by John Miles Foley

By John Miles Foley

ISBN-10: 1405105240

ISBN-13: 9781405105248

A spouse to historical Epic provides for the 1st time a accomplished, up to date assessment of historic close to jap, Greek and Roman epic. It bargains a multi-disciplinary dialogue of either longstanding rules and more recent views. A significant other to the close to japanese, Greek, and Roman epic traditionsConsiders the interrelation among those diversified traditionsProvides a balanced review of longstanding rules and more moderen views within the examine of epicShows how scholarship during the last 40 years has reworked the ways in which we conceive of and comprehend the genreCovers lately brought subject matters, equivalent to the position of girls, the heritage of reception, and comparability with dwelling analogues from oral traditionThe editor and participants are top students within the fieldIncludes an in depth index of poems, poets, technical phrases, and significant figures and occasions

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Extra info for A Companion to Ancient Epic (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)

Sample text

Martin and not pinned to authorized occasions, rituals, or audiences, such as initiatory groups. Epic can be sung in almost every setting, by professionals or amateurs. Just as epic as actual performance functions as a soundstage, an environment for setting off all sorts of smaller genres, so epic as possible peformance is equivalent to the cultural environment itself, ready to be instantiated and evoked at any moment. As dozens of field studies show, the total ‘‘epic’’ is in fact never performed unless elicited by an outsider, such as the folklorist.

The main distinction ˆ thoi seems to be whether music is involved, and whether the between aoideˆ and mu performer is a professional. Both Odysseus and Achilles straddle the line by being expert ˆ thos-speech and also like bards (Achilles when he plays the phorminx at Il. 186–91, at mu Odysseus when compared to an enchanting singer at Od. 518–21). In fact, as we shall ˆ thos) see, ‘‘epic’’ is most comparable to ‘‘myth’’ (the word derived ultimately from mu both in archaic Greek terms and in the contemporary non-Eurocentric world.

It may be ‘‘poetry’’ or ‘‘prose’’ or some tertium quid, by our reckoning. ’’ Despite such formal differences, many societies may share a functionally similar category. What this chapter will argue is that ‘‘epic,’’ applied to similar categories across cultures, plays a necessary role that transcends genre (thus making fruitless the attempt to pin it down as any single genre). In other words, ‘‘epic’’ stands out precisely by presenting 10 Richard P. Martin itself, time after time, as the ‘‘natural’’ state of speech, the pre-existent mode, the wordbefore-genre, the matrix of other forms.

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A Companion to Ancient Epic (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) by John Miles Foley


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