Style and Influences
There are echoes of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and other historical and biographical writers from the ancient world. The most frequent intertexts are the Homeric epics. The novel is told in a linear manner; after a brief first person introduction by Chariton, the narrator uses the third person. Much of the novel is told in direct speech, revealing the importance of oratory and rhetorical display (as in the presentation before the King of Persia) and perhaps as well the influence of New Comedy. Dramatic monologues are also used to reveal the conflicted states of the characters' emotions and fears (what should Callirhoe do, given that she is pregnant and alone?). The novel also has some amusing insights into ancient culture (for instance, the pirates decide to sell Callirhoe in Miletus rather than in the equally wealthy Athens, because they considered Athenians to be litigious busybodies who would ask too many questions).
The discovery of five separate fragments of Chariton's novel at Oxyrhynchus and Karanis in Egypt attest to the popularity of Callirhoe. One fragment, carefully written on expensive parchment, suggests that some, at least, of Chariton's public were members of local elites.
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Famous quotes containing the words style and, influences and/or style:
“To translate, one must have a style of his own, for otherwise the translation will have no rhythm or nuance, which come from the process of artistically thinking through and molding the sentences; they cannot be reconstituted by piecemeal imitation. The problem of translation is to retreat to a simpler tenor of ones own style and creatively adjust this to ones author.”
—Paul Goodman (19111972)
“Do not seek anxiously to be developed, to subject yourself to many influences to be played on; it is all dissipation.”
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“The habit some writers indulge in of perpetual quotation is one it behoves lovers of good literature to protest against, for it is an insidious habit which in the end must cloud the stream of thought, or at least check spontaneity. If it be true that le style cest lhomme, what is likely to happen if lhomme is for ever eking out his own personality with that of some other individual?”
—Dame Ethel Smyth (18581944)