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The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity$
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Anna Marmodoro and Jonathan Hill

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 April 2021

An I for an I: reading fictional autobiography 1

An I for an I: reading fictional autobiography 1

(p.233) 8 An I for an I: reading fictional autobiography1
The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity

Tim Whitmarsh

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Augustine of Hippo’s curious assumption, in The City of God, that in The Golden Ass the claim to have been transformed into a donkey was Apuleius’, rather than that of the fictional narrator, Lucius. Why should Augustine have made such a glaring error? The chapter argues that antiquity lacked a strong sense of ‘the narrator’ (as distinct from ‘the author’). What we tend to call ‘first-person’, antiquity would have understood as ‘fictional autobiography’, in which the author illusionistically impersonates the narrating character.

Keywords:   Apuleius, The Golden Ass, fictional autobiography, Augustine

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