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Love, Gender, and Gentrification: Thematic reversals at Narrative Junctions in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe

Love, Gender, and Gentrification: Thematic reversals at Narrative Junctions in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe

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Published by Robert D. Skeels
Love, Gender, and Gentrification: thematic reversals at junctional narrative points in Longus’ Daphnis and Cloe. While Longus addresses many of the same themes as other authors belonging to what is known as the Second Sophistic tradition, his narrative technique seemingly seeks to conceal rather than parade his command of the literary, philosophical, and cultural traditions embodied in his novel. Moreover, his narrative often reverses the traditional roles in which these themes are frequently presented. This is particularly noticeable in his treatment of the multiples aspects of love, gender roles, and the tensions (or false dichotomies) between rural and urban mindsets. Typically conveyed in a deceptively naïve manner, the intersections of these concepts are rich both in meaning and intertextuality. It is my intention to explore select passages in Longus to examine these intersections more closely using secondary sources to demonstrate the complexity of themes the author touches on, and the deft manner in which he weaves them into the narrative.
Love, Gender, and Gentrification: thematic reversals at junctional narrative points in Longus’ Daphnis and Cloe. While Longus addresses many of the same themes as other authors belonging to what is known as the Second Sophistic tradition, his narrative technique seemingly seeks to conceal rather than parade his command of the literary, philosophical, and cultural traditions embodied in his novel. Moreover, his narrative often reverses the traditional roles in which these themes are frequently presented. This is particularly noticeable in his treatment of the multiples aspects of love, gender roles, and the tensions (or false dichotomies) between rural and urban mindsets. Typically conveyed in a deceptively naïve manner, the intersections of these concepts are rich both in meaning and intertextuality. It is my intention to explore select passages in Longus to examine these intersections more closely using secondary sources to demonstrate the complexity of themes the author touches on, and the deft manner in which he weaves them into the narrative.

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Published by: Robert D. Skeels on May 01, 2014
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Robert D. SkeelsProfessor Mario TelòClassics 191December, 12 2013Love, e!"er, a!" e!tri#catio!$ T%ematic reversals at &arrative '(!ctio!s i! Lo!)(s*
Daphnis and Chloe
T%e "e)ree of (!"erl+i!) so%isticatio! -e #!" i! Lo!)(s is o!l+ matc%e" b+ t%e "ecetive simlicit+ b+ -%ic% it is rese!te". limses of comleit+ a!" so%isticatio! are fre/(e!tl+ fo(!" at (!ctio!s -%ere Lo!)(s* !arrative reverses tra"itio!al t%ematic roles. T%ese !arrative t-ists are artic(larl+ !oticeable i! t%e a(t%or*s treatme!t of t%e m(ltiles asects of love, )e!"er roles, a!" t%e te!sio!s or false "ic%otomies bet-ee! r(ral a!" (rba! mi!"sets. ! eac% case t%e t%ematic t-ists or reversals becko! t%e er("ite rea"er to /(estio! co!ve!tio!4i! t(r!, t%ose /(estio!s all("e to rofo(!" %iloso%ical a!" sociolo)ical imlicatio!s. ! esse!ce, (!ctio!al t%ematic reversals i! t%e !arrative are ortals to e!)a)e t%e "eceitf(ll+ !a5ve
1
 tet at i!creasi!)l+ comle levels.t seems best to eami!e t%e broa"er t%emes o!e at a time i! or"er to ill(strate t%is t%esis. ive! t%e brea"t% of eisti!) sc%olars%i o!
Daphnis and Chloe
 , it is "o(btf(l t%at a!+ seci#c i"eas rese!te" %ere -ill seem artic(larl+ !ovel
2
 , ecet i! t%at t%e+
1'. R. Mor)a!$ 67Lo!)(s* !arrative strate)+, as it )ro-s from t%e rolo)(e, is t%at Da%!is a!" C%loe is tol" b+ its !arrator as if it -ere a simler a!" more co!ve!tio!al stor+ t%a! it reall+ is, a!" i!vites t%e rea" to rea" it i! t%e same -a+.8 6&+m%s, &ei)%bors a!" &arrators8 1:.2Pai!f(ll+ clear (o! rea"i!) t%e coio(s comme!tar+ b+ vario(s sc%olars. ;et, t%ere is a se!se of vali"atio! t%at comes -it% reali<i!) t%at o!e %as i!"ee!"e!tl+ reac%e" similar co!cl(sio!s as -ell re)ar"e" aca"emics.
 
R.D. Skeels 2are rovi"e" from a !e- ersective. =irst -e -ill eami!e t%e most comle a!" overarc%i!) t%eme i! t%e !ovel4love. >riefer, b(t !o less critical eami!atio!s of t%e )e!"er a!" )e!tri#catio! t%emes -ill follo-. T%is essa+ "oes !ot attemt a! e%a(stive s(rve+, b(t rat%er a! eloratio! of select assa)es i! co!(!ctio! -it% comme!tar+.Love4it is t%e ce!tral t%eme of t%e !ovel. T%e !arrator*s oe!i!) se!te!ce states %e is i!sire" b+ 6a ai!ti!) t%at tol" a stor+ of love8 Lo!)(s 2::? r. 1
3
. Desite bei!) a seemi!)l+ simle t%eme, Lo!)(s rese!ts m(ltile asects a!" co!cets of love. @ samli!) of some of t%e -a+s love is "eicte"$ ill!ess 29A? 1.1A.1, irate 303? 1.32.A, a!" s%e%er" 322? 3.12.1. T%e love as a! ill!ess lovesick motif, -it% %+sicalBs+c%osomatic s+mtoms is ver+ commo! i! literat(re, eseciall+ i! t%e reek !ovels. @ more raacio(s a!" "a!)ero(s "eictio! is t%at of love as a irate
A
. @lter!ativel+ -e %ave love as a s%e%er"
 , a be!i)! force rovi"i!) care a!" )(i"a!ce.>efore "isc(ssi!) some of t%e ot%er ortra+als of love i! t%e !ovel,  -o(l" like to (se t%e latter asect as a! eamle of -%at  mea! b+ a t%ematic t-ist or reversal. T%e loveBasBs%e%er" t%eme aears more t%a! o!ce i! t%e tet. @""itio!all+, it aears at i!tersectio!s -it% ot%er t%emes, i!cl("i!) t%ose of (rba! attit("es vers(s r(ral realities. T%e eami!atio! of s(c% (!ctio!s ca! +iel" i!si)%ts far )reater t%a! a s(rface rea"i!). 'o%! Mor)a!*s comme!tar+ ill(strates t%is$%e! Da%!is a!" C%loe are #rst se!t o(t to t%e Eocks, t%e+ ass(me t%ere "(ties %ail+, 6as if it -ere a )reat of#ce8 FG HIJK NOQ, 1.:.3. =rom %is (rba! ersective t%e !arrator is sarcastic abo(t t%e etti!ess of
3T%e tra!slatio!s cite" are b+ C%risto%er ill i! Rear"o! 19:9.A fo(!" t%is to be a! i!teresti!), if !ot %(moro(s, i!terretatio! of t%e irate motif$ 6vi"e!tl+ t%e irates rerese!t t%e (!co!trollable a!" la-less asects of %+sical assio!.8 T(r!er 121.a! Reat%*s 6Plato!ic Love a!" rotic "(catio! i! Lo!)(s*
Daphnis and Chloe”
i! Do(lamis 2011 "isc(sses t%e bev+ of all(sio!s to a!" i!tertet(alit+ -it% Plato. T%e s%e%er" motif #ts t%e bill, R. L. (!ter me!tio!s t%at Plato*
Critias
 co(c%es t%e )o"s as s%e%er"s (!ter 3U.
 
R.D. Skeels 3r(ral life. >(t i! t%is !ovel s%e%er"i!) is reveale" i! t%e -or"s of ros at 2..A, a!" of P%iletas at 2..2, -%ic% t%e !arrator simle reorts, -it% !o si)! t%at %e %as re)istere" t%eir imorta!ce as t%e a!alo)(e of Love*s rovi"e!tial care for %(ma!ki!", a!" t%(s it reall+ is 6a )reat of#ce.8
U
@si"e from !arrator*s sarcasm bei!)4as Mor)a! oi!ts o(t4 a! iro!ic "evice, t%ere is self refere!ce, a!" t%e !ote" co!trast bet-ee! r(stic a!" re#!e" t%at creates a! i!tersecti!) oi!t i! t%e stor+ -%ere several co!!ectio!s aear a!" co!ve!tio!s are /(estio!e". @! a""itio!al t-ist comes -it% t%e later revelatio! t%at o(r rota)o!ists ori)i!all+ %ail from cit+ stock. T%is assa)e a!" t%e correso!"i!) i!si)%ts it evokes set (s ( for t%e loveBasBs%e%er" eamle i! >ook T%ree$ 6 7 si!ce t%e+ -ere slaves to a more o-erf(l s%e%er".8 322? 3.12.1, a!" (ltimatel+ for t%e establis%me!t of a! altar i! %o!or of 6Love t%e S%e%er"8 3A:? A.39.2 -%ere t%e !arrative t%rea" circles back to t%e be)i!!i!) of t%e tale si!ce it is aro(!" Love*s altar -%ere o(r !e-l+-e" +o(t%s set ( t%e ai!ti!)s t%at, i! t(r!, i!sire t%e !arrator.Meta%or is !ot t%e o!l+ "evice Lo!)(s emlo+s to rerese!t love. P%iletas* a""ress to o(r +o(!) %eroes "emo!strates t%is, a!" serves as a loc(s i! t%e !arrative at -%ic% m+ria" t%emes a!" co!cets crisscross.6Love is a )o", m+ c%il"re!? %e is +o(!), bea(tif(l, a!" -i!)e"? a!" so %e e!o+s +o(t%, (rs(es bea(t+ , a!" makes so(ls take -i!). Ve(s %as !ot so m(c% o-er as %e %as$ %e r(les t%e eleme!ts? %e r(les t%e stars? %e r(les %is fello- )o"s4more comletel+ t%a! +o( r(le +o(r )oats a!" s%ee. @ll t%e Eo-ers are t%e -ork of Love? all t%e la!ts are %is creatio!? t%a!ks to %im, t%e rivers Eo-, t%e -i!"s blo-.  %ave see! a b(ll i! love, bello-i!)
UMor)a! 6&+m%s, &ei)%bors a!" &arrators8 1::.

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