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Expressive Narration in Apollonius’ Argonautica

Expressive Narration in Apollonius’ Argonautica SYLLECTA CLASSICA 25 (2014): 33­58 EXPRESSIVENARRATIONINAPOLLONIUS' ARGONAUTICA Deborah Beck More than any other poetic device, similes define the genre of classical epic, since they are virtually absent from other literary genres;1 and the lively vignettes presented by similes are often among the most highly visible and memorable parts of a particular poem. In any poem, whether oral or written, the work an audience has to do in order to figure out the connections between a simile and the narrative makes that narrative more significant and emotionally engaging for the audience because they must actively participate in making its meaning (Tannen 1989: 17). As Fowler says about ekphrasis, which closely resembles simile in this regard, "precisely because ekphrasis represents a pause at the level of narration and cannot be read functionally, the reader is possessed by a strong need to interpret" (1991, 27). Fowler's phrasing here ­ "is possessed by a strong need" ­ exactly captures the allure that similes bring to the audience of a narrative.2 The richly layered allusions to earlier poetry The thoughtful and detailed suggestions of a number of readers improved this paper at several stages of its development. Margaret Clark, Paul Hay, Nancy Hoffman, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Syllecta Classica Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Expressive Narration in Apollonius’ Argonautica

Syllecta Classica , Volume 25 (25) – May 14, 2014

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Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa
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Copyright © The University of Iowa
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2160-5157
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Abstract

SYLLECTA CLASSICA 25 (2014): 33­58 EXPRESSIVENARRATIONINAPOLLONIUS' ARGONAUTICA Deborah Beck More than any other poetic device, similes define the genre of classical epic, since they are virtually absent from other literary genres;1 and the lively vignettes presented by similes are often among the most highly visible and memorable parts of a particular poem. In any poem, whether oral or written, the work an audience has to do in order to figure out the connections between a simile and the narrative makes that narrative more significant and emotionally engaging for the audience because they must actively participate in making its meaning (Tannen 1989: 17). As Fowler says about ekphrasis, which closely resembles simile in this regard, "precisely because ekphrasis represents a pause at the level of narration and cannot be read functionally, the reader is possessed by a strong need to interpret" (1991, 27). Fowler's phrasing here ­ "is possessed by a strong need" ­ exactly captures the allure that similes bring to the audience of a narrative.2 The richly layered allusions to earlier poetry The thoughtful and detailed suggestions of a number of readers improved this paper at several stages of its development. Margaret Clark, Paul Hay, Nancy Hoffman,

Journal

Syllecta ClassicaDepartment of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Published: May 14, 2014

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