English fiction and the ancient novel

Book chapter


Carver, Robert Henry Fielding. (2018). English fiction and the ancient novel. In The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 1: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750 pp. 123-145 Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199580033.003.0008
AuthorsCarver, Robert Henry Fielding
Abstract

This chapter considers the influence of the fiction of classical antiquity on the emergence and form of novelistic texts from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Four distinct forms of ancient prose are identified: Greek epic romance, exemplified by Heliodorus; pseudo-history; Menippean satire, as in Petronius’ Satyricon; and Milesian short, generally lurid tales, such as those of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass. The direct influence of these forms can be traced in the Italian novelle tradition and in French and Italian romance, while François Rabelais was particularly indebted to the Greek satirist Lucian, and Spanish picaresque shared deep affinities with the Roman novel. Greek works began to have a more direct influence on English fiction following their translation in the Elizabethan period, as seen in Sidney and Greene, and classical fiction continued to influence English novels into the eighteenth century, though often indirectly through early modern texts.

Keywordsancient fiction; classical reception; epic; romance; satire; translation; influence; Heliodorus; Petronius; Apuleius
Page range123-145
Year01 Jan 2018
Book titleThe Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 1: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Edition1st
ISBN9780199580033
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199580033.003.0008
Web address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/book/2430?login=true
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyScholarly
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License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print12 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jan 2024
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