Longus’ Poimenikà is a novel skillfully constructed on a series of parallelisms and oppositions (city vs. countryside, art vs. nature, experience vs. innocence). However, there is an opposition that has been neglected by many commentators and on which I aim to shed light: the contrast between an essentially positive view of the present and a disturbing representation of the mythical bucolic world. This opposition is particularly clear if we compare the description of the erotic behavior of the young shepherds Daphnis and Chloe with the accounts on the bucolic god Pan, here presented as an akólastos, a figure familiar to the novel and the New Comedy and incapable of controlling his instincts and sexual desires. As declared in the prologue, in Daphnis and Chloe the experience of eros has a central role. Hence, by suggesting an improvement in the erotic interactions between men and women in the ‘present’ of the fiction, the author wishes to state the superiority of his time against the barbarity of a continuously evoked mythical age. Quite surprisingly, Longus recalls the mythical world not to regret nostalgically the passing of a lost Golden Age, but to cast a shadow of doubt on its allegedly idyllic dimension. Yet on the other hand, he eventually recreates this dimension in his novel and sanctions the success of this model in the final scenes of his book.

"Progress of Erotic Customs in the Ancient Novel. Three Parthenoi and Chloe in Longus' Poimenikà", in E. Cueva, S. Harrison, H. Mason, W. Owens, S. Schwartz (ed.), Re-Wiring the Ancient, Novel, Volume 1: Greek Novels, Groningen: Barkhuis & Groningen University Library, 2018, 29-43.

CORSINO, Giulia Sara
2018

Abstract

Longus’ Poimenikà is a novel skillfully constructed on a series of parallelisms and oppositions (city vs. countryside, art vs. nature, experience vs. innocence). However, there is an opposition that has been neglected by many commentators and on which I aim to shed light: the contrast between an essentially positive view of the present and a disturbing representation of the mythical bucolic world. This opposition is particularly clear if we compare the description of the erotic behavior of the young shepherds Daphnis and Chloe with the accounts on the bucolic god Pan, here presented as an akólastos, a figure familiar to the novel and the New Comedy and incapable of controlling his instincts and sexual desires. As declared in the prologue, in Daphnis and Chloe the experience of eros has a central role. Hence, by suggesting an improvement in the erotic interactions between men and women in the ‘present’ of the fiction, the author wishes to state the superiority of his time against the barbarity of a continuously evoked mythical age. Quite surprisingly, Longus recalls the mythical world not to regret nostalgically the passing of a lost Golden Age, but to cast a shadow of doubt on its allegedly idyllic dimension. Yet on the other hand, he eventually recreates this dimension in his novel and sanctions the success of this model in the final scenes of his book.
Re-wiring the Ancient Novel
Barkhuis
Ancient novel - Longus - Poimenikà - metamorphosis - ancient social behaviour - erotic customs - Daphnis and Chloe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/79079
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