Forms of Astonishment: Greek Myths of Metamorphosis
OUP Oxford, Jul 23, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 281 pages
In this illustrated study, Richard Buxton analyzes Greek literary narratives and visual representations of the metamorphosis of humans and gods, as evidenced from Homer to Nonnos. Such tales have become familiar in their Ovidian dress, as in the best-selling translation by Ted Hughes; Buxton
explores their Greek antecedents. He investigates such issues as: how do different contexts shape the way in which metamorphosis is narrated? How do the assumptions of commentators about strangeness affect how metamorphosis is interpreted? How far should an interpreter allow contextual charity
to render more acceptable a belief such as that in metamorphosis? What are the implications of the notions of 'astonishment' (Greek: thambos) in a range of narratives about transformation?
Throughout Forms of Astonishment Buxton draws comparisons between the Greek evidence and data from other religious traditions, ancient and modern; he also introduces comparative material from the sciences, from modern painting and literature, and from the cinema and computer graphics. In