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Cykl wykładów pt. "History of fiction"

Katedra Filologii Klasycznej zaprasza na otwarte wykłady monograficzne pt. History of fiction, które prowadzi w języku angielskim prof. UŚ dr Bruce D. MacQueen z Katedry Literatury Porównawczej. Wykłady odbywają się na Wydziale Filologicznym w Katowicach przy placu Sejmu Śląskiego 1, w sali 104 o godzinie 15.00 w piątki: 17 IV, 15 V, 29 V, 5 VI 2009 r.

In childhood we all learn that a book may contain a story that is not literally, historically true, and yet is not just a lie. Few of us can now remember the mental gymnastics it takes for the very young mind to create such a category of narrative; as adults we take all this rather for granted. To be sure, novels were still suspect on moral grounds in some religious circles in the 19th and even early 20th century; but for most commentators this curious fact is more often connected with the romantic (at least implicitly erotic) content of many novels than their rather odd epistemological status as untrue stories.

The history of the novel qua novel is usually said to begin in the early modern period, with Cervantes or Fielding. The prevailing wisdom, at least until recently, was that there were no novels in antiquity, an assumption which simplifies both the history of ancient literature and the history of the novel. And yet there are extended  
works of prose fiction in ancient Greek and Latin literature, which only an extremely narrow definition of novel would fairly exclude (though many are admittedly unprepossessing). The question is, why did such texts not exist until late antiquity, and why did they appear then, in a period not usually known for creativity and originality?

The lectures will first trace the development of the idea of fiction from Homer through historiography and drama to the appearance of Greek novels in late antiquity, with an emphasis on changing models of truth  
and truth-telling. The five extant ancient Greek novels will be described, and the final lectures will be devoted to one of them: Longus´s Daphnis and Chloe, called by one modern critic "the last great work of pagan Greek literature."






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