- Apostrophe in Homer, Apollonius and Callimachus
- Book title
- Über die Grenze: Metalepse in Text- und Bildmedien des Altertums
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Berlin: De Gruyter
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
This paper will discuss instances in archaic Greek and Hellenistic poetic texts of the remarkable phenomenon that occurs when the narrator of a fiction addresses a character within the narrative, a figure known as ‘apostrophe’. As this form of address obviously breaks down the Genettian ‘holy boundary’ between the extra-diegetical level of the narrator and the intra-diegetical level of the characters, apostrophe is a clear example of metalepsis in the strictest sense: it is an illogical, paradoxical procedure when taken literally.
My discussion falls into two parts. In the first part, I look at apostrophe in archaic poetry. I enquire into the function and possible origins of the device there, and attempt to establish a link between the two. In the second part I discuss some instances of apostrophe in Hellenistic poetry and analyse how the device functions here and in what way it can be seen to react to the older examples.
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