Ancient Egyptian LiteratureTheory and Practice

Ancient Egyptian LiteratureTheory and Practice

Roland Enmarch and Verena M. Lepper

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780197265420

Publisher: British Academy


This book reviews the numerous developments in the theoretical framework of interpretation that have taken place over recent years. The application of more theoretically informed approaches to the ancient literary corpus, and a more detailed analysis of context, form, and reception, have fundamentally challenged the interpretative paradigms that formerly held sway. No consensus on interpretative stance has yet emerged, and in this volume many of the foremost researchers in the field examine the overall state of work on the subject. The chapters in the present volume are intended to contribute to this development of different approaches in their application to real Egyptian texts. No single overarching theoretical framework underlies these contributions; instead they represent a multiplicity of perspectives. The range of chapters includes textual criticism; literary criticism; the social role of literature; reception theory; and the treatment of newly discovered literary texts. All contributions centre on the problems and potentials of studying Egyptian literature in a theoretically informed manner. Although major difficulties remain in interpreting a literature preserved only fragmentarily, this volume demonstrates the ongoing vitality of current Egyptological approaches to this problem. This volume also incorporates a broader cross-cultural and comparative element, providing overviews of connections and discontinuities with biblical, Classical, and Mesopotamian literatures, in order to address the comparative contexts of Ancient Egyptian literature.