The Ancient Bibliocosm

Lector in limine: The Ancient Paratext

Karen Ní-Mheallaigh

Although research exists on individual features of the paratext in antiquity and in particular genres (such as the prologue or titles in historiographical or fictional texts), this will be the first monograph-length study on the ancient paratext across a range of ancient genres, and it will challenge the view that the paratext, as a concept, exists only in printed texts. This research has developed directly out of Dr Ní Mheallaigh's research on the fictionalisation of the paratext in ancient narratives. It will explore paratextual awareness in ancient texts within the framework of modern literary-theoretical approaches (such as Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, Cambridge 1997) and in terms of the dynamic relationship between narratives and their contemporary written cultures.