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Sexual Symmetry
Author: David Konstan

ISBN: 9780691634876
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 286
Published: 19 March 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8
Description:



"In the Greek romances," writes David Konstan, "sighs, tears, and suicide attempts are as characteristic of the male as of the female in distress; ruses, disguises, and outright violence in defense of one's chastity are as much the part of the female as of the male." Exploring how erotic love is represented in ancient amatory literature, Konstan points to the symmetry in the passion of the hero and heroine as a unique feature of the Greek novel: they fall mutually in love, they are of approximately the same age and social class, and their reciprocal attachment ends in marriage. He shows how the plots of the novels are perfectly adapted to expressing this symmetry and how, because of their structure, they differ from classical epic, elegy, comedy, tragedy, and other genres, including modern novels ranging from Sidney to Harlequin romances.


Using works like Chaereas and Callirhoe and Daphnis and Chloe, Konstan examines such issues as pederasty, the role of eros in both marital and nonmarital love, and the ancient Greek concept of fidelity. He reveals how the novelistic formula o...

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