Current interpretations of Apuleius' 'Golden Ass' cover the entire spectrum from a religious autobiography to an incongruous colle...
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Current interpretations of Apuleius' 'Golden Ass' cover the entire spectrum from a religious autobiography to an incongruous collection of titillating stories. The goal of this book is to explain the extraordinary polyphony of Apuleius' novel as a product of the 2nd century CE context, in which elite culture (philosophy and sophistic oratory) and popular entertainment not only share the same venues and appeal to the same audiences but also engage in active exchange of subject matter and histrionic techniques. The book argues that Apuleius' narrative represents a mosaic of discourses each of which possesses a respectable pedigree in the world of Greco-Roman 'paideia'. It further traces the ensuing ambiguity to the Second Sophistic rhetoric and concludes that the particular thrill of reading the novel consists in the ironic frustration of any attempt to discover a centripetal force in an irreducibly multi-polar text. (Der Autor ist Preisträger des "Heidelberger Förderpreises für klassisch-philologische Theoriebildung" 2009)
A Comedy of Storytelling
Theatricality and Narrative in Apuleius' 'Golden Ass'