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By John J. Winkler

Utilizing fresh advances in literary thought, Winkler tackles the elusive which means of Apuleius's `The Golden Ass', specifically the connection among booklet and reader.

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Extra resources for Auctor and Actor. A Narratological Reading of Apuleius's the Golden Ass

Example text

This scene is dcpressl"d in every way. The narrator is dragged to his postt the convivia]ity is missing, the table is empry of food. Lucius was genuinely refreshed by listening to Aristomcncs· tale; the etTect of this series fabularum is to exhaust hi rn to such a degree that he cannot speak straight but begins slurring his speech. leaving some words incomplete as his head nods with drowsiness. When finally Milo allows Lucius to go back to his room and go to sleep. " 18 This final scene of Book 1 is an empty frame-for us.

Of fictional life. The uncanny element rather is the undertow of irrationality amidst the semblance of order. For that last sentence is not only a superb example of logical bathos (a fall-almost a pratfallfrom the serious point about audience beliefs1 but couches the argument of audience enjoyment jn terms of Lucius's horse's enjoyment of the tale. The fillip ofBook 11 forces us to wonder about the design of the whole and the latencies we may have missed before: and so we gingerly ask, Is there a pattern lurking behind the siUy irruptions of un- reason?

Rsonal rdigious, d~tta. -\UCTOR & ACTOR book did appear in a time of lively religious maneuvering and cannot be h~rmetically sealed off from the messy real world of Mediterranean devotees, messiahs, and pamphleteers. 1 deal with this background in three chapters focused on the relation of the AA to the Greek Lucit4S, or the Ass (Chapter 9) and to the Lift of Aesop (Chapter 10) and on the title of Apulcius's novcl-Go/dru Ass? or Metamorphoses? (Chapter 11~ What I claim for my ''Conjectures"' is not that they arc true but that, as likely stories go, they arc novel and plausible and will enhance our sense of Apuleius's brilliance as a writer and thinker.

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