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The Roman Paratext
Frame, Texts, Readers


Laura Jansen, Duncan F. Kennedy, Roy Gibson, Matthijs Wibier, Shane Butler, Grant Parker, Roger Rees, Alison Cooley, Donncha O'Rourke, Hérica Valladares, Ellen Oliensis, Irene Peirano, Bruce Gibson
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  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107607286

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About the Authors
  • What is a paratext, and where can we find it in a Roman text? What kind of space does a paratext occupy, and how does this space relate to the text and its contexts? How do we interpret Roman texts 'paratextually'? And what does this approach suggest about a work's original modes of plotting meaning, or the assumptions that underpin our own interpretation? These questions are central to the conceptual and practical concerns of the volume, which offers a synoptic study of Roman paratextuality and its exegesis within the broad sphere of Roman studies. Its contributions, which span literary, epigraphic and visual culture, focus on a wide variety of paratextual features - e.g. titles and inter-titles, prefaces, indices, inscriptions, closing statements, decorative and formalistic details - and other paratextual phenomena, such as the frames that can be plotted at various intersections of a text's formal organization.

    • Proposes a new direction in the criticism of the structure of Roman literary and extra-literary texts
    • Argues for a new understanding of the exegesis of Roman texts and critical thinking about the construction of interpretative communities through the lens of the paratext
    • Explores cultures of reading, writing, editing, revision, publishing, circulation and consumption in ancient Rome
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107607286
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: approaches to Roman paratextuality Laura Jansen
    1. Crossing the threshold: Genette, Catullus, and the psychodynamics of paratextuality Duncan F. Kennedy
    2. Starting with the index in Pliny Roy Gibson
    3. The topography of the law book: common structure and modes of reading Matthijs Wibier
    4. Cicero's capita Shane Butler
    5. Tarda solacia: liminal temporalities of Statius' prose prefaces Grant Parker
    6. Inter-titles as deliberate misinformation in Ammianus Marcellinus Roger Rees
    7. Paratextual perspectives upon the SC de Pisone Patre Alison Cooley
    8. Paratext and intertext in the Propertian poetry book Donncha O'Rourke
    9. Pictorial paratexts: floating figures in Roman wall painting Hérica Valladares
    10. The paratext of Amores 1: gaming the system Ellen Oliensis
    11. 'Sealing' the book: the sphragis as paratext Irene Peirano
    12. Paraintertextuality: Spenser's classical paratexts in The Shepheardes Calender Bruce Gibson
    13. Modern covers and paratextual strategy in Ovidian elegy Laura Jansen.

  • Editor

    Laura Jansen, University of Bristol
    Laura Jansen is Lecturer in Latin Language and Literature at the University of Bristol. Her work addresses the topic of liminality in various forms, especially those relating to issues of authoriality, editoriality and reception. On this theme, she has published articles on Ovidian paratextuality and its exegesis, and is currently completing a book on the question of the authorial frame in Latin literature.


    Laura Jansen, Duncan F. Kennedy, Roy Gibson, Matthijs Wibier, Shane Butler, Grant Parker, Roger Rees, Alison Cooley, Donncha O'Rourke, Hérica Valladares, Ellen Oliensis, Irene Peirano, Bruce Gibson

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