Review by Choice Review
Companions and handbooks are the latest rage in literary studies, and they range from good to excellent. This one is outstanding, both for the quality of the individual chapters, written by the foremost scholars in the field, and for the originality of its format. Instead of surveying the ancient Greek and Roman novels one by one (for this one can turn to the good studies in Greek Fiction: The Greek Novel in Context, ed. by J. R. Morgan and Richard Stoneman, 1994), this volume offers chapters on their literary and social context; the world represented in the novels (religion, travel, politics); literary qualities such as genre, rhetoric, and intertextuality; and the reception of the novels both in antiquity and later, from Byzantium and the Renaissance to postmodernity. The essays are self-standing, well written, and provide useful guides to further reading. They sum up the state of current scholarship, but what lends the volume enduring value is that the essays also offer provocative new interpretations that will inspire further thinking and investigation. An invaluable resource for classicists and anyone interested in ancient literature and the history of the novel. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. D. Konstan Brown University
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