By John J. Winkler
Utilizing fresh advances in literary idea, Winkler tackles the elusive that means of Apuleius's `The Golden Ass', specially the connection among ebook and reader.
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Additional info for Auctor and Actor. A Narratological Reading of Apuleius's the Golden Ass
And generic expectations exist as formal possibilities, like tht· rules of chess, within which an author plays out for the reader a pmtimlar game. Our expectations nu1sl be finmded on and manipulated by clut·s or information-bits provided in the story. not outside it. As an audience, we arc waiting to be told what is happening, who an~ the characters, and what arc the operable limits oftheir actions. so that the game of surprise. suspense, and no\"cl combination may be played. The author may do \\'hat he wants, whatever his imagination may devise.
As it would be ifthe narrator said what Ijust said in paraphrasing the structure of the argument. The contrast of sublime and ridiculous is greater than I have yet reported. For the narrator's vision, resting on the little boy shinnying bondcssly up the lance, sees in his final pose an icon: "You would have said a noble s~rpent was clinging with slippery coils to the knotty. -come the serpent-twined knotty club of AskJepios~ god and doctor. ment and therapeutic vision, of sword swallowing and immortality, of a healing deity emerging from a street show, may strike us as not unlike the structure of the AA, which also moves from popular entertainment to a religious vision.
Notice too the complete obliviousness of Mi]o to this whole other dimension, which is unrealistic of course, but 23. R. A. 1ck, .. Th~ Sibyl in~ lamp,'' 'fA/'A M7 (1956): IIJ0-91. TI-lE INTERPRETATION OF TALES 43 dramatically effective. There may be for first-readers a thrill of danger when they first hear Mi1o scoff at his wife's prediction, for he is violating a warning that was laid down carHer as l"ffective ("Quiet, quid, ... don't encroach on a divine woman, Jest you suffer for your unmodc:rarcd tongue").