Over the Sea: Real and Fictitious Land in Ancient Narratives



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description There is no doubt that ancient culture represents the basis of the European literary tradition. Even Homer's epic poems which were regarded the first and the most significant literary product already in the antiquity, reflect the extraordinary importance of overcoming boundaries, discovering the new, and, conversely, returning back to “one's own”. The image of the real world so predominant in the earliest ancient genres of epic poetry and historiography gradually evolved into the literary, fictitious worlds metaphorically depicting the acquiring of knowledge and experience. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the extent to which the real geography may overlap with a fictitious land, thus creating a unique complex of alienation, loss, wilful pursuit, and, eventually, finding. The ancient novel (especially those by Apuleius and Petronius but also Greek novels) as well as other genres popular in the time of the Second Sophistic (Menippean satire and sophistic discourse), including the later allegorical phantasies inspired by these, may be seen as the representations of the abovementioned tendency.
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