Epic and Empire
Politics and Generic Form from Virgil to Milton
By (author) David Quint
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Epic and Empire by David Quint
Book DescriptionAlexander the Great, according to Plutarch, carried on his campaigns a copy of the Iliad, kept alongside a dagger; on a more pronounced ideological level, ancient Romans looked to the Aeneid as an argument for imperialism. In this major reinterpretation of epic poetry beginning with Virgil, David Quint explores the political context and meanings of key works in Western literature. He divides the history of the genre into two political traditions: the Virgilian epics of conquest and empire that take the victors' side (the Aeneid itself, Camoes's Lusiadas, Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata) and the countervailing epic of the defeated and of republican liberty (Lucan's Pharsalia, Ercilla's Araucana, and d'Aubigne's Les tragiques). These traditions produce opposing ideas of historical narrative: a linear, teleological narrative that belongs to the imperial conquerors, and an episodic and open-ended narrative identified with "romance," the story told of and by the defeated. Quint situates Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained within these rival traditions. He extends his political analysis to the scholarly revival of medieval epic in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and to Sergei Eisenstein's epic film, Alexander Nevsky. Attending both to the topical contexts of individual poems and to the larger historical development of the epic genre, Epic and Empire provides new models for exploring the relationship between ideology and literary form.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691015200
(235mm x 155mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 25-Jan-1993
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author David Quint
Inside 'Paradise Lost', Paperback (January 2014)
Opens up readings and ways of reading Milton's epic poem by mapping out the intricacies of its narrative and symbolic designs and by revealing and exploring the deeply allusive texture of its verse. This book shows how Milton radically revises the epic tradition and the Genesis story itself by arguing that it is better to create than destroy.
Don Quixote, Paperback (March 2009)
A translation of Cervantes' masterpiece.
Cervantes's Novel of Modern Times, Paperback (June 2005)» View all books by David Quint
"Don Quijote" emerges as a work that charts and reflects upon the historical transition from feudalism to the modern times of a moneyed, commercial society. This book offers a fresh reading of "Don Quijote", understanding it as a whole much greater than the sum of its famous parts.
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