Representation of myth in the novel, as a poetic, narrative and aesthetic device, is one of the most illuminating issues in the area of ancient religion, for such narratives investigate in various ways fundamental problems that concern all human beings. This volume brings together twenty contributions (six of them to a Roundtable organized by Anton Bierl on myth), originally presented at the Fourth International Conference on the Ancient novel (ICAN IV) held in Lisbon in July 2008. Employing an interdisciplinary approach and putting together different methodological tools (intertextual, psychological, and anthropological), each offers a illuminating investigation of mythical discourse as presented in the text or texts under discussion. The collection as a whole demonstrates the exemplary and transgressive significance of myth and its metaphorical meaning in a genre that to some extent can be considered a modernized and secular form of myth that focuses on the quintessential question of love.
Marília P. Futre Pinheiro, University of Lisbon, Portugal; Anton Bierl, University of Basel, Switzerland; Roger Beck, University of Toronto, Canada.