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The Ancient Novel: An Introduction [Paperback]

Niklas Holzberg

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Book Description

15 Dec 1994
This widely acclaimed book offers an introduction to the ancient novel and presents the latest research findings in the field. For this English translation, Professor Holzberg has substantially updated and expanded the German edition of 1986.
Niklas Holzberg considers the ancient novel as encompassing idealistic and comic realistic narrative with central themes of love and adventure. He develops his definition of the genre and offers explanations of why this literary form was so popular during the Hellenistic period. He goes on to examine the individual texts in chronological order, providing a summary of the contents of each, relevant background information and interpretative pointers.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Intro to the Ancient Novel 31 Mar 2006
By C. Price - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a concise introduction into the genre of ancient novels and had been disappointed by other books on this topic. Then I picked up Niklas Holzberg's The Ancient Novel: An Introduction and found exactly the kind of introduction for which I was looking.

Holzberg introduces the genre clearly in just over 100-pages. He begins by defining the genre and discussing related literary works. Then, he moves through the different "periods" of ancient novel writing by examining the principal novels from each. For being such a short book, Holzberg gives you enough information about each novel to give you a feel for the work and how it fits into the history and development of the genre.

The book is a translation from German. But, unlike some translations of academic books, this one reads very well.

There is also an excellent bibliography of primary and secondary sources, including references to works about the genre as a whole as well as about each of the leading novels themselves.

My only quibble with the book is its abrupt ending. There is no conclusion per se as he ends the book with a discussion of a later ancient novel. After fitting so much clear and helpful analysis into such a small package, I was hoping for an excellent conclusion that brought it all together.
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