After Antiquity: Greek Language, Myth, and Metaphor

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Cornell University Press, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 567 pages
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With the publication of Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition, widely considered a classic in Modern Greek studies and in collateral fields, Margaret Alexiou established herself as a major intellectual innovator on the interconnections among ancient, medieval, and modern Greek cultures. In her new, eagerly awaited book, Alexiou looks at how language defines the contours of myth and metaphor. Drawing on texts from the New Testament to the present day, Alexiou shows the diversity of the Greek language and its impact at crucial stages of its history on people who were not Greek. She then stipulates the relatedness of literary and "folk" genres, and assesses the importance of rituals and metaphors of the life cycle in shaping narrative forms and systems of imagery.Alexiou places special emphasis on Byzantine literary texts of the sixth and twelfth centuries, providing her own translations where necessary; modern poetry and prose of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and narrative songs and tales in the folk tradition, which she analyzes alongside songs of the life cycle. She devotes particular attention to two genres whose significance she thinks has been much underrated: the tales (paramythia) and the songs of love and marriage.In exploring the relationship between speech and ritual, Alexiou not only takes the Greek language into account but also invokes the neurological disorder of autism, drawing on clinical studies and her own experience as the mother of autistic identical twin sons.
  

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Contents

LANGUAGE
17
The New Testament and Its Legacy
43
Some Private and Public Voices
66
New Departures in the Twelfth Century
96
MYTH
149
Myth in Song
172
Magic Cycles in the Wondertales
211
Metanarrative and Paranarrative
231
Everyday Life
319
Autistic Rituals
325
Ritual and Reciprocity
328
Separation Transition and Integration
332
Resources of the Past
345
Metaphors in Songs of the Life Cycle
349
Journey
352
Clothes and Gems
361

The Interpenetration of Themes and Images
235
Cyclical Images of Body and Cosmos
249
Cosmology and Morality
253
The Tree of Life and the Cosmic Cycle
260
Concluding Comments
262
From Myth to Fiction
266
The Greek Novel c 18301880
267
The Case of Georgios Vizyenos
275
Ethnicity and Sanity
277
Antithesis as a Strategy of ReadingWriting
286
Between Time and Place
296
After Vizyenos
310
METAPHOR
315
The Resources of Ritual
317
Hair
372
The Garden of Love
374
Hunting and Hunted
377
Burning and Withering
381
Tears and Poison Blood and Water
384
Plants and Fruits of the Earth
389
Hunting Birds
396
The Tree of Love and Life
399
Backward to the Present
411
Notes
453
Key to References to Songs and Tales
503
General Index
547
Index of Themes and Images
563
Copyright

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Metaphor
David Punter
No preview available - 2007
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About the author (2002)

Margaret Alexiou is George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies at Harvard University.

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