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7. An Historical Anecdote, a Religious Parable, and a Novel一節歷史掌故一個宗教寓言一篇小說

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Chapter Summary

A historical anecdote can be a religious parable or "metaphor", and may be a novel as well. In his The Histories, the great ancient Greek historian Herodotus, known as the father of Western history, narrates an interesting episode to do with the ancient Egyptian king Rhampsinitus. Heinrich Heine makes use of the anecdote in a poem. Heine had felt free to change Herodotus's account of the story. In Bandello's hands what had been no more than a monochrome sketch becomes a highly coloured realistic painting, he nevertheless cleaves very closely to the original story line. Bandello enriches the content of the original story by supplementing the psychological activity of the characters and dialogues. Both The Histories and Le Novelle tell of a solitary robber who goes about his various activities alone; in the Buddhist sutra, the villain has a hoard of followers to serve as his helpers.

Keywords: Bandello; Buddhist sutra; Heinrich Heine; Herodotus; historical anecdote; Le Novelle; novel; religious parable; Rhampsinitus; The Histories



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