chapter
Verse fantasy into prose
WithAnderson Graham
Pages 11

Philosophers are inclined to allow the license of fantasy to poets; might then ask whether the same or some different license can be offered to writers of prose. One obvious challenge is to reproduce or alter in prose the effect of amatory verse. A number of Lucian’s short prose dialogues seem to have a more or less close relationship with Anthology Epigrams. Another prose vehicle of amatory themes is the short ecphrasis, a natural exercise in the progymnasmata. Two Philostrati produced versions, and, as often in a sophists’ world, literature and art can be closely allied. Philostratus the Younger addresses himself directly to Medea’s love for Jason in Colchis and seems clearly to envisage a situation relating to Apollonius Rhodius. If prose paraphrase is only one aspect of genre transposition and recreation, it is nonetheless a major one, capable of relating to any poetic genre and forming a major link between poetry and rhetoric.