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Greek Comedy and the Discourse of Genres

$130.00 (C)

Emmanuela Bakola, Lucia Prauscello, Mario Telò, Michael Silk, Eric Csapo, Ralph Rosen, Martin Revermann, Chris Carey, Richard Rawles, Matthew Wright, Marco Fantuzzi, David Konstan, Edith Hall, Jeffrey Rusten, Nick Lowe
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  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107033313

$ 130.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Recent scholarship has acknowledged that the intertextual discourse of ancient comedy with previous and contemporary literary traditions is not limited to tragedy. This book is a timely response to the more sophisticated and theory-grounded way of viewing comedy's interactions with its cultural and intellectual context. It shows that in the process of its self-definition, comedy emerges as voracious and multifarious with a wide spectrum of literary, sub-literary and paraliterary traditions, the engagement with which emerges as central to its projected literary identity and, subsequently, to the reception of the genre itself. Comedy's self-definition through generic discourse far transcends the (narrowly conceived) 'high-low' division of genres. This book explores ancient comedy's interactions with Homeric and Hesiodic epic, iambos, lyric, tragedy, the fable tradition, the ritual performances of the Greek polis, and its reception in Platonic writings and Alexandrian scholarship, within a unified interpretative framework.

    • Provides the most wide-ranging treatment of Old Comedy from the viewpoint of its multifarious dialogues with other literary, subliterary and paraliterary traditions
    • Explores comedy's interactions with certain literary traditions through new or hitherto underexplored approaches
    • Illustrates how self-reflexivity, a feature of comedy across periods and cultures, is inextricably connected to intergeneric discourse
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… this volume accomplishes its aims and offers an important step forward in the study of comedy's omnivorous tendencies."
    Donald Sells, Phoenix

    ‘As is bound to be the case with a volume emanating from a conference … the essays [do not] exhaust the range of traditions to which comedy turns its attention. Readers will find much of interest in them … and their combined value is to demonstrate the variegated patterns of literary subsumed within comedy and to point the way for further inquiry.’ Zachary Biles, De Novis Libris Iudicia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107033313
    • length: 422 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: comedy as a fabric of generic discourse Emmanuela Bakola, Lucia Prauscello and Mario Telò
    Part I. Comedy and Genre: Self-Definition and Development:
    1. Greek dramatic genres: theoretical perspectives Michael Silk
    2. Comedy and the Pompê: Dionysian genre-crossing Eric Csapo
    3. Iambos, comedy and the question of generic affiliation Ralph Rosen
    Part II. Comedy and Genres in Dialogue:
    4. Paraepic comedy: point(s) and practices Martin Revermann
    5. Epic, nostos and generic genealogy in Aristophanes' Peace Mario Telò
    6. Comedy and the civic chorus Chris Carey
    7. Aristophanes' Simonides: lyric models for praise and blame Richard Rawles
    8. Comedy versus tragedy in Wasps Matthew Wright
    9. Crime and punishment: Cratinus on Aeschylus, on the metaphysics and on the politics of wealth Emmanuela Bakola
    10. From Achilles' horses to a cheese-seller's shop: on the history of the guessing game in Greek drama Marco Fantuzzi and David Konstan
    11. The Aesopic in Greek comedy Edith Hall
    12. The mirror of Aristophanes: the winged ethnographers of Birds (1470–93, 1553–64, 1694–1705) Jeffrey Rusten
    Part III. The Reception of Comedy and Comic Discourse:
    13. Comedy and comic discourse in Plato's Laws Lucia Prauscello
    14. Comedy and the Pleiad: Alexandrian tragedians and the birth of comic scholarship Nick Lowe.

  • Editors

    Emmanuela Bakola, King's College London
    Emmanuela Bakola is Senior Research Associate at the Department of Greek and Latin, University College London. She has published a critically acclaimed monograph on Cratinus (Cratinus and the Art of Comedy, 2010) and several articles which explore the relationship of comedy to other genres. Her current project uses a cultural-anthropological framework to re-read the tragedies of Aeschylus, arguing that their dramaturgy, imagery, stage action, and engagement with religion, cult and ritual show that Aeschylean tragedy pervasively reflects on the human relationship to the Earth and its resources.

    Lucia Prauscello, University of Cambridge
    Lucia Prauscello is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity Hall. She is the author of Singing Alexandria: Music Between Practice and Textual Transmission (2006) and has variously published on Greek archaic and Hellenistic poetry, drama, Greek religion and ancient music.

    Mario Telò, University of California, Los Angeles
    Mario Telò is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests mainly focus on Attic drama, and especially on Old Comedy, but he has also published in other areas of Greek literature (the Greek novel, ecphrastic literature, Roman tragedy and comedy). In 2007 he published a commentary on Eupolis' Demoi, the best-preserved fragmentary play of Old Comedy. He is currently working on a project to provide new readings of Knights, Wasps, Clouds and Peace by exploring the role that intergenerational thematics play in Aristophanes' definition of his comic identity in relation to his audience and his rivals.


    Emmanuela Bakola, Lucia Prauscello, Mario Telò, Michael Silk, Eric Csapo, Ralph Rosen, Martin Revermann, Chris Carey, Richard Rawles, Matthew Wright, Marco Fantuzzi, David Konstan, Edith Hall, Jeffrey Rusten, Nick Lowe

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