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Folk Tale, Fiction and Saga in the Homeric Epics Hardcover – November 1, 1974

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Hardcover, November 1, 1974
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr; New issue of 1946 ed edition (November 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520028082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520028081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,439,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. E. Cantrell VINE VOICE on April 19, 2006
This book is based on the 1945 Sather Lectures delivered by Professor Carpenter at the University of California at Berkeley. "They have been printed as composed," wrote Carpenter on their first publication in 1946, "although not quite as they were orally presented since not all their content could be fitted into the straitened hour of the academic tradition."

Rhys Carpenter (1889-1980) was a scholar of the old school, an impressively learned man and a lucid writer. He did his undergraduate and doctoral work at Columbia, with a brief break between to earn an M.A. from Oxford's Balliol College as a Rhodes Scholar. He would probably have described himself as an art historian, but he was also a published poet, archeologist and far-ranging classicist. He held a number of academic posts in his long career but he is most firmly associated with Bryn Mawr (1915-1955), where he established the Department of Classical Archeology.

This book consists of seven lectures:
I. Literature without Letters
II. Saga and Fiction
III. Trouble over Troy
IV. Folk Tale and Fiction in the Iliad
V. The Setting of the Odyssey
VI. The Cult of the Sleeping Bear
VII. The Folk Tale of the Bear's Son
VIII. Fact, Fable and Fiction: The Final Verdict

In the course of these lectures, Professor Carpenter ranges from hard-eyed skeptic to wild-eyed enthusiast.

In his second lecture he draws a distinction between saga and fiction. He holds the first to be basically historical in nature but inevitably worn away from mouth to mouth and generation to generation until it is no longer fully remembered or understood by succeeding story tellers.
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