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Carnivalizing Difference by David Shepherd, Charles Platter, Paul Allen Miller, Peter I. Barta

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5 THE TOMB OF EPIC: BAKHTINIAN PARODY AND PETRONIUS' TALE OF THE WIDOW OF EPHESUS

Daniel B. McGlathery

In his essay entitled “Epic and Novel”, Mikhail Bakhtin mentions the Satyricon of Petronius as an exemplar of Menippean satire, a serio-comic genre which was one of the antecedents of the European novel, and which pioneered the novelistic parody of epic (EN. 22).1 Classicists have long debated the generic classification of the Satyricon as either a Menippean satire or an ancient novel; perhaps it is best to concede that it contains features of both genres, but eludes precise classification.2 Bakhtin's own solution to this generic quandary is lucid: “The Satyricon of Petronius is nothing other than a Menippean satire extended to the limits of ...

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