Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A major volume on Byzantine novels, now available online: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel



Medieval Greek romances were a very popular genre in Byzantium. P. Roilos' groundbreaking volume on the topic is now available online.
Here is a passage from the conclusions:
Through their multilayered responses to the past and their present, the Komnenian novels mediate first between antiquity and the Middle Ages and, second, between the Middle Ages and modernity. Due to its inherent discursive plasticity, the genre of the novel offered the Komnenian writers a dynamic literary medium for the exploration of a number of ideological and conceptual tensions ensuing from originally antithetical but often ultimately complementary conceptual and cultural categories. No doubt these tensions marked Byzantine culture from its initial formation to its final exhaustion. However, all these opposing forces reached their acme in the twelfth century: Hellenism and Christianity, antiquity and “modernity,” tradition and experimentation, secular and sacred, “high” and “low,” pleasure and asceticism, realism and fantasy, individuality and universality, to mention only some.
Click here to access the volume

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