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Petronius' Satyricon, long regarded as the first 'novel' of the Western tradition, has always sparked controversy. It has been puzzled over as a strikingly modernist riddle, elevated as a work of exemplary comic realism, condemned as obscene and repackaged as a morality tale. This reading of the surviving portions of the work shows how the Satyricon fuses the anarchic and the classic, the comic and the disturbing, and presents readers with a labyrinth of narratorial viewpoints. Dr Rimell argues that the surviving fragments are connected by an imagery of disintegration, focused on the pervasive Neronian metaphor of the literary text as a human or animal body. Throughout, she discusses the limits of dominant twentieth-century views of the Satyricon as bawdy pantomime, and challenges prevailing restrictions of Petronian corporeality to material or non-metaphorical realms. This 'novel' emerges as both very Roman and very satirical in its 'intestinal' view of reality.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521037013
ISBN-10: 0521037018
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 252
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jun-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Dr. Victoria E. Rimell

Victoria Rimell is Associate Professor in the Department of Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Rome, La Sapieza. She has published Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (2002), Ovid's Lovers (2006) and Martial's Rome (2008), and has also contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire (edited by Kirk Freudenberg, 2005) and Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire (edited by Jason Konig and Tim Whitmarsh, 2007).

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Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction by Dr. Victoria E. Rimell

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