In Greek literature the sea takes center stage. Already in Homer, the sea is the natural setting of many events and is frequently described and referred to by both the poet and his characters. After Homer, an emphasis on the sea can be traced across different times and genres, with a ‘peak’ in the Hellenistic and Imperial period. Alciphron’s Letters of fishermen are an important chapter of this long tradition. These fishermen, and the events in which they are involved, are inspired by literary models. But Alciphron clearly aims at originality: he wants to create his own sea, through the skillful re-use of the tradition. This paper investigates the twenty-two letters of the collection focusing on two points: the geographic setting in which the lives of the characters are located (the text continuously refers to real places, defining a marine space which is coherent and historically convincing); the interplay between the sea and other dimensions or elements, i.e. the presence of polarities (sea / land, sea / city, sea / virtue, sea / love) that prove productive from a narrative point of view, because they allow the sea to became “active” and to create stories.

The Sea of Alciphron / G. Zanetto (MNEMOSYNE, SUPPLEMENTS, LATE ANTIQUE LITERATURE). - In: The Letters of Alciphron : a unified literary work? / [a cura di] M. Biraud, A. Zucker. - Prima edizione. - Leiden : Brill, 2018. - ISBN 9789004383388. - pp. 126-137 (( convegno The Letters of Alciphron: a unified literary work? tenutosi a Nice nel 2016.

The Sea of Alciphron

G. Zanetto
2018

Abstract

In Greek literature the sea takes center stage. Already in Homer, the sea is the natural setting of many events and is frequently described and referred to by both the poet and his characters. After Homer, an emphasis on the sea can be traced across different times and genres, with a ‘peak’ in the Hellenistic and Imperial period. Alciphron’s Letters of fishermen are an important chapter of this long tradition. These fishermen, and the events in which they are involved, are inspired by literary models. But Alciphron clearly aims at originality: he wants to create his own sea, through the skillful re-use of the tradition. This paper investigates the twenty-two letters of the collection focusing on two points: the geographic setting in which the lives of the characters are located (the text continuously refers to real places, defining a marine space which is coherent and historically convincing); the interplay between the sea and other dimensions or elements, i.e. the presence of polarities (sea / land, sea / city, sea / virtue, sea / love) that prove productive from a narrative point of view, because they allow the sea to became “active” and to create stories.
Greek literature; Greek fictional epistolography; Alciphron; letters of fishermen; sea in the Greek literature; sea and love; sea and land
Settore L-FIL-LET/02 - Lingua e Letteratura Greca
University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/610347
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