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Fictional Traces

Fictional Traces: Receptions of the Ancient Novel - Volume 2

Marília P. Futre Pinheiro
Stephen J. Harrison
Volume: 14.2
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Barkhuis
Pages: 211
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    Fictional Traces
    Book Description:

    The study of the reception of the ancient novel and of its literary and cultural heritage is one of the most appealing issues in the story of this literary genre. In no other genre has the vitality of classical tradition manifested itself in such a lasting and versatile manner as in the novel. However, this unifying, centripetal quality also worked in an opposite direction, spreading to and contaminating future literatures. Over the centuries, from Antiquity to the present time there have been many authors who drew inspiration from the Greek and Roman novels or used them as models, from Cervantes to Shakespeare, Sydney or Racine, not to mention the profound influence these texts exercised on, for instance, sixteenth-to eighteenth-century Italian, Portuguese and Spanish literature. Volume I is divided into sections that follow a chronological order, while Volume II deals with the reception of the ancient novel in literature and art. The first volume brings together an international group of scholars whose main aim is to analyse the survival of the ancient novel in the ancient world and in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance, in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in the modern era. The contributors to the second volume have undertaken the task of discussing the survival of the ancient novel in the visual arts, in literature and in the performative arts. The papers assembled in these two volumes on reception are at the forefront of scholarship in the field and will stimulate scholarly research on the ancient novel and its influence over the centuries up to modern times, thus enriching not only Classics but also modern languages and literatures, cultural history, literary theory and comparative literature.

    eISBN: 978-94-91431-50-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VIII)
  3. Editors’ Introduction
    (pp. IX-XXII)
    Marília P. Futre Pinheiro and Stephen J. Harrison

    This second volume ofFictional Traces(Fictional TracesII) contains fourteen articles dealing with the reception of the ancient novel in literature and art. These articles are revised versions of papers originally presented at the Fourth International Conference on the Ancient Novel (ICAN IV), which took place at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon, on July 21-26, 2008. The papers are assembled in four groups according to a thematic arrangement. The first group contains two studies on the reception of the ancient novel in the visual tradition; the second includes essays that discuss the echoes of Apuleius’Metamorphosesin art...


    • Charikleia at the Mauritshuis
      (pp. 3-18)
      Hugh J. Mason

      The subject of this paper is a painting on permanent display in the Mauritshuis, the 17thcentury town house in Den Haag that houses the (Dutch) Royal Collection of Paintings (Figure 1).¹ It was signed in 1626 by the artist Abraham Bloemaert, who lived from 1566 to 1651, and worked primarily in Utrecht. Although he was a Catholic and produced religious art for churches in the Spanish Netherlands, his faith did not prevent him from enjoying the patronage of the Calvinist Princes of Orange. Admired as a landscape artist, he also accepted commissions for religious paintings, but apparently did few...

    • Susanna and her Sisters. The Virtuous Lady Motif in Sacred Tradition and its Representation in Art, Secular Writing and Popular Narrative
      (pp. 19-30)
      Faustina C.W. Doufikar-Aerts

      More than six decades have passed since the prolific Flemish author Marnix Gijsen publishedHet Boek van Joachim van Babylon.¹ In this novel he placed the Biblical story of Susanna and the Elders in a new perspective by creating a framework of an unsuccessful marriage between Joachim and his wife Susanna. Although she was the perfect wife, unequalled in beauty – the Helen of her time – she remained mentally unapproachable for her husband and he felt that she treated him with mere patronizing kindness. The book caused a great deal of controversy, not in the least because of some...


    • Martianus Capella’s De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii or the Subversion of the Latin Novel
      (pp. 33-46)
      Beatrice Bakhouche

      TheWedding of Philology and Mercuryby Martianus Capella is a difficult and confusing work. This fifth century African author writes for his son a long text blending prose and poetry in the manner of Varro’s Menippean satires, relating in nine books the wedding ceremony between Philology and the God Mercury. The first two books set the stage (Mercury decides to take a wife; his brother Phoebus recommends Philology to him, and his choice is approved by Jupiter and Juno, then by the Council of the gods) and narrate the initial action: the apotheosis of Philology by magical means. The...

    • Apuleius, Beroaldo and the Development of the (Early) Modern Classical Commentary
      (pp. 47-60)
      Gerald Sandy

      The Apuleian corpus was one of the first classical Latin works to appear in print (Rome, 1469). Apuleius’Golden Assalso enjoys the distinction of being the subject of one of the earliest humanist commentaries on a classical Latin author, that of Filippo Beroaldo (1453-1505), the popular professor of rhetoric at the University of Bologna whose lectures drew hundreds of students each morning. Here I will try to give an impression of Beroaldo’s commentary on theGolden Assby highlighting a few general characteristics and then focusing on his scholarship, that is, his command of the sources and his engagement...

    • The Golden Ass and its Nachleben in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance
      (pp. 61-82)
      Ferruccio Bertini

      At the beginning of the Metaphysics Aristotle says : πάντες ἄνθρωποι τοῦ εἰδέναι ὁρέγονται φύσει¹ ‘All men tend naturally to knowledge’, that is to what in Latin is defined ascupiditas sciendi. This longing for knowledge is usually symbolized by Odysseus or Ulysses, who, from his Homeric origins, assumed the emblematic role of spokesman of this fundamental human ambition. At some moments, however, this longing for knowledge can turn from a virtue into a vice; that happens when man, who has been created in God’s image and likeness, seeks after a knowledge which determinedly denies any reference to his divine...

    • From word to image: notes on the Renaissance reception of Apuleius’s Metamorphoses
      (pp. 83-94)
      Michele Rak

      The tale (fabella) of Cupid and Psyche, narrated by Apuleius inThe Golden Ass, entered early modern Europe after being rediscovered in the Middle Ages. Around 1338, Giovanni Boccaccio possessed a copy of Apuleius’s work. Since the beginning of Italian humanism, the myth of Cupid and Psyche has been spread and variously interpreted throughout the world, thus becoming a universally recognized symbol of love in the arts. Over the last five centuries, the tale of Cupid and Psyche has been eclectically represented in sculpture, painting, drawing, theatre, music, and dance. Different cultures have often adapted Apuleius’s tale to their ideas...

    • Love on a wallpaper: Apuleius in the boudoir
      (pp. 95-108)
      Christiane Reitz and Lorenz Winkler-Horaček

      A decorative wallpaper in grisaille which depicts the story of Amor and Psyche is the focus of our research project.¹ This wallpaper consists of a sequence of twelve images. Several copies are preserved, among them one complete set in Rostock and one nearby in the ducal palace in Bad Doberan on the Baltic.² The wallpapers were designed by the French painters Merry-Joseph Blondel (1781-1853) and Louis Lafitte (1770-1828). The latter is famous for his decorations of the Château de Malmaison for Empress Josephine. The Amor and Psyche wallpapers were first printed by the atelier Dufour in Paris from 1815 onward,...


    • Petronius in West Egg: The Satyricon and The Great Gatsby
      (pp. 111-124)
      Nikolai Endres

      According to critic Robert Roulston, who has studied the literary influences on F. Scott Fitzgerald’sThe Great Gatsby:

      A catalogue of the authors whose writings have supposedly left traces onThe Great Gatsbyis as full of bizarre incongruities as Nick Carraway’s list of guests at Gatsby’s parties. Flaubert is there with Stephen Leacock and Dreiser with Edith Wharton. There too are Charles Dickens and Ford Maddox Ford, Joseph Conrad and Anthony Hope, Coleridge and Clarence E. Mulford, Thackeray and Harold Bell Wright, T. S. Eliot and George Eliot, Petronius and Stendhal, Mark Twain and Emily Brontë, Herman Melville and...

    • ‘His Career as Trimalchio’: Petronian Character and Narrative in Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel
      (pp. 125-134)
      Niall W. Slater

      Both the writing and the titling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest novel were complicated affairs. After drafting the text in the summer of 1924, he sent a complete version to Scribner’s in October under the title ofThe Great Gatsby, but only a month later he wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, proposing to call it insteadTrimalchio in West Egg. The galley proofs that Perkins sent back to Fitzgerald, in the wake of two letters with a number of comments and suggestions, were headed ‘Fitzgerald’s Trimalchio,’ though that is probably the printers’ abbreviation of his requested version.¹ In response,...

    • Petronius and the Contemporary Novel: Between New Picaresque and Queer Aesthetics
      (pp. 135-144)
      Massimo Fusillo

      Petronius’ ‘splendid evasiveness’ (Slater 1990) is the main reason given for his splendid success in contemporary culture. Much of this elusive character comes notably from the text’s fragmentary condition, but a careful literary analysis shows the deliberately episodic nature of theSatyricon: it is a subversive text that plays with readerly expectations, genre categories, narrative roles, linguistic registers. These features find a profound echo in the novel’s manifold transformations at the beginning of the twentieth century, when it became the experimental genrepar excellence. If Petronius’ realism – now a thorny critical category, formerly brilliantly described by Erich Auerbach (1946)...


    • Psyche, Callirhoë and Operatic Heroines Derived from Ancient Novels
      (pp. 147-156)
      Jon Solomon

      Opera owes its existence largely to Greek studies in the late Renaissance. At its inception, Girólamo Mei and Vincenzo Galilei revived the study of ancient Greek music theory, Giovanni Bardi rejected Renaissance Flemish polyphony and substituted ancient Greek monody, and Jacopo Peri, Giulio Caccini, and Ottavio Rinuccini adapted the appropriate dramatic format from ancient Greek tragedy. In particular Peri and Rinuccini attempted to recreate the “sweet speech” [hêdumenos logos] of Greek tragedy that Aristotle describes in hisPoetics: Their solution was to appeal to the acoustical distinction made by Aristotle’s student, Aristoxenus, between intervallic musical sounds and continuous spoken sounds....

    • Le dieu Pan fait pan pan pan de son pied de chèvre: Daphnis and Chloe on the stage at the end of the nineteenth century
      (pp. 157-168)
      Simone Beta

      ‘They were young, educated, and both virgin in that, their wedding night’. This is the incipit ofOn Chesil Beach(2007), by one of the most celebrated contemporary novelists, Ian McEwan. The novel tells the story of a young English couple who get married in 1962 and spend their honeymoon in a hotel on the Dorset coast; it focuses on the embarrassment of the newlyweds Edward and Florence, who both struggle with the problems connected with what is bound to happen – their first embrace, their first night together, the discovery of sex.Nihil sub sole novi: still in the...

    • Widows on the operatic stage: The ‘Ephesian Matron’ as a dramatic character in twentieth-century German musical theatre (esp. 1928-1952)
      (pp. 169-180)
      Tiziana Ragno

      This paper focuses on some operatic adaptations of the ‘Widow of Ephesus’ tale, expressly shaped after the Petronian source. A preliminary survey, related to the reception of the novella, shows that all the operatic transpositions of this story (with only a few exceptions)¹ are produced from the 1930s onwards; furthermore, many of these are geographically concentrated in Germany. We will investigate them by adopting a comparative approach, in order to point out the strategies used to ‘rewrite’ the ancient source (Petr. 111-112).

      Karl Amadeus Hartmann composedWachsfigurenkabinett(‘Waxworks’) between 1930 and 1932.² It is a cycle of five miniature operas,³...

    • Apuleius On the Radio: Louis MacNeice’s BBC Dramatisations
      (pp. 181-194)
      Stephen Harrison

      Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was a major Anglo-Irish poet who was also an expert in classical literature.² Born in Belfast, he studied classics at Oxford and was a lecturer in classics at the Universities of Birmingham (1930-36) and London (Bedford College, 1936-9), before turning to work for the BBC (below); in 1936 he published an admired verse version of Aeschylus’Agamemnonfor performance on the London stage (with music by Benjamin Britten), and his celebrated long poemAutumn Journal(1939) contains much reflection on classical topics.³ At Birmingham he was a friend of the classical scholar E.R. Dodds, who later edited...

  8. Abstracts
    (pp. 195-202)
  9. Contributors
    (pp. 203-206)
  10. Indices
    (pp. 207-211)