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Novelistic Lives And Historical Biographies: The Life Of Aesop And The Alexander Romance As Fringe Novels

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Chapter Summary

The existence of affinities between the Life of Aesop and the Alexander Romance has been remarked more than once, and in recent critical approaches to the ancient novel, both works are viewed together-as examples of "fringe" novels. A main difference between our texts and the conventional Greek novels is, of course, the near absence of any love element in the Life of Aesop and the Alexander Romance-although both texts seem to show an awareness of what is the norm in the "big five". A brief study of temporality in Aesop's and Alexander's lives clearly shows how fictional considerations prevailed over the historical. A word often recurs in studies devoted to the Alexander Romance and to the Life of Aesop in order to describe the protagonists of both works, to define their common, atypical personality, and to contrast them with the heroes of the idealistic Greek novels: they are called "tricksters".

Keywords: Alexander Romance ; fringe novels; Greek novels; life of Aesop



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