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Lecture 10

CLA260 - lecture 10.docx

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Ben Akrigg

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CLA260H1S Method and Theory in Classics Session 10: Classical literature 1 ‘Classics is almost entirely literature’ (p115 in the textbook). It might be added that until relatively recently literature was almost entirely poetry. This is not obvious to us for two reasons:  the prominence of the prose novel as a literary form (since the mid- twentieth century).  the fact that both literary and non-literary texts can studied together and in similar ways. o Note that this latter point makes the question of what is a literary text and what is not an unimportant one in most contexts. It is also worth recalling in this context that the use of the word ‘literature’ to mean anything more precise than ‘writings’ is also relatively recent in that it only really starts around 1800. One of the categories which is used to structure the study of literature is genre. At the most general level, texts have often been divided into different genres according to who speaks: 1. Where the narrator speaks in the first person. (lyric) 2. Where the narrator speaks in the first person, but allows characters in the story to speak in their own voices too. (epic) 3. Where the characters in the story do all the talking. (drama) The same distinctions can be made by foc
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