In the previous chapter we saw Ovid, writer of fi ctions, relegated to the edges of civilization for the subversive fi ctions that undermine the Emperor’s authority and his control over what words can be written: but how doeshow can the poet speak, if not in fi ction? How can he escape the circle of fi ctionality that sentences him to exile away from home and from language? Yet it is precisely the condition of relegation to the limit of Empire that generates Ovid’s fi rst-person narrative.