Narrative Forms in Byzantine Literature: Theory and Practice, Fourth Byzantine Colloquium of the University of Buenos Aires, Zoom, April 7–8, 2022
The Byzantine narrative appears in several manifestations. In one of them, the Komnenian novel, it was heavily influenced by rhetoric, and included sections that were only indirectly narrative, such as long ekphraseis. In another form, such as popular hagiography, episodes were often combined, with no apparent connection apart from their relating to the same character. Different audiences required different ways of narrating. Parallel to the richness of narratives, theoretical treatises were written on the ways of narrating (in the wider sense, including for instance drama and purely rhetoric compositions).
The aim of this colloquium is to discuss case studies that show what is singular to certain key Byzantine narratives; to underscore the concrete influence of works discussing the art of narration upon narratives themselves; to determine the expectations of a given audience; and to underline the interaction between theory and practice of narration.