Comparative Literature | Special Topics in Comparative Literature: Ancient Erotic Fiction
C301 | 20330 | Dr. K. Tsai


TR 2:30-3:45 PM
3 credits
Course carries Culture Studies and A & H credit

What was love for the ancient Greeks? How could eros be a path to
knowledge? This course examines the representations of love and
sexuality in ancient Greek novels such as Chariton, Longus, and
Achilles Tatius, and in Roman works such as the Satyricon and The Ass.
Though unjustly neglected by scholars and readers alike, this
fictional tradition offers a rare vantage point for cultural attitudes
towards love, marriage, and the self in antiquity. As theories of
eros, Plato's Symposium and Foucault's History of Sexuality will
supplement our investigation of what amounts to the rise of prose
fiction in the Western tradition. Finally, we will contextualize
ancient erotic fiction in world film and literature (e.g., adaptations
by Fellini, Mishima, and The Blue Lagoon). All readings are in English
translation.