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Chariton of Aphrodisias and the Invention of the Greek Love Novel$
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Stefan Tilg

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576944.001.0001

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Novel poetics

Novel poetics

(p.128) 4 Novel poetics
Chariton of Aphrodisias and the Invention of the Greek Love Novel

Stefan Tilg

Oxford University Press

Chapter four introduces the analysis of Chariton's poetics with an reconsideration of some remarkable characteristics singled out for one reason or another before: Chariton's general penchant for authorial intrusions – indicating a concern with self‐definition; his allusion to Aristotle's Poetics at the beginning of the last book (8. 1. 4) – inaugurating the invention of the happy ending and a new poetics of tragicomedy; the guidance of his readers through theatrical devices – most useful in a new form of literature; a large number of quotations from Homer – implying an intention to become a new Homer in prose; the setting of the story in Miletus and the alleged origin of Callirhoe from Sybaris (e. g. 1. 12. 8) – potential allusions to preceding low‐life strains of prose fiction, the Milesiaca and the Sybaritica; finally, the negative image of Athens – which sets the new literary form apart from the old classical models, especially Thucydides who provided the historical frame in which the story is set.

Keywords:   poetics, Aristotle, Poetics, happy ending, theatre, Homer, Milesiaca, Sybaritica, Athens, Thucydides

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