Theocritus and the Invention of Fiction
The bucolic Idylls of Theocritus are the first literature to invent a fully fictional world that is not an image of reality but an alternative to it. It is thereby distinguished from the other Idylls and from Hellenistic poetry as a whole. This book examines these poems in the light of ancient and modern conceptions of fictionality. It explores how access to this fictional world is mediated by form and how this world appears as an object of desire for the characters within it. The argument culminates in a fresh reading of Idyll 7, where Professor Payne discusses the encounter between author and fictional creation in the poem and its importance for the later pastoral tradition. Close readings of Theocritus, Callimachus, Hermesianax and the Lament for Bion are supplemented with parallels from modern contemporary fiction and an extended discussion of the heteronymic poetry of Fernando Pessoa.
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Acontius Acontius and Cydippe Aetia allegory Alpers autobiographical Beckett’s Bion’s bucolic characters bucolic ﬁction bucolic Idylls bucolic poetry bucolic singers bucolic song bucolic world Bukolik Callimachus Calpurnius Calpurnius Siculus claim contemporary contrast Corydon Cyclops Cydippe Damoetas Daphnis of Idyll deﬁning characteristic Dichter difﬁcult discussion dramatic Eclogue 9 epigram Fantuzzi ﬁctional character ﬁctional creations ﬁctional world ﬁctionalizing self-projection ﬁelds ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁrst ﬂock Galateia Gallus genre goatherd of Idyll Heraclitus herdsmen Hermesianax Hesiod heteronym historical poet Hypothesis to Idyll identiﬁcation Idyll 11 Idyll 9 Idyll3 imagination imitator of Theocritus impersonation invented Lament for Bion literary ﬁction Lycidas Lycidas and Moeris Meliboeus Menalcas of Eclogue mimetic models Moeris Munatius Muses narrative narrator ontological Patterson 1987 poem offers poem’s poet Simichidas poet’s poetic poetry of Theocritus Polyphemus possibility Prolegomena pure ﬁctionality real-world reﬂection relationship scholia scholiasts self-ﬁctionalizing Servius shepherds sing theme Thyrsis Tityrus tradition verses Virgil Wendel