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Fictional Biography Vis-À-Vis Romance: Affinity And Differentiation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a comparative reading of the Life of Aesop and the Life of Alexander the Great will explore and justify why these texts are representative literary expressions of the genre of "fictional biography". It compares and contrasts these fictional biographies with narratives traditionally listed by literary critics under the so-called category of "romances" or erotic novels. In recent years critics of ancient biography and the novel have repeatedly debated whether and to what extent the Life of Aesop and the Life of Alexander the Great belong to the "fringe" of the ancient Greek novel. Aspiring to address some aspects of this complex problem and by examining the two Lives, the chapter proposes to look closely at the similarities and differences between the two literary genres. The conclusions of the chapter hopefully entail a more accurate description of the nature of their literary relationship.

Keywords: ancient Greek novel; erotic novels; fictional biography; Life of Aesop; Life of Alexander



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