Jane Alison, The Love-Artist
Love in Exile or Exile in Love?
This chapter argues that Jane Alison’s novel The Love-Artist is far from providing a conventional narrative of Ovid’s exile, as it substitutes an invented previous journey of Ovid to the Black Sea for his actual exile to Tomis, in an Ovidian move. This chapter investigates the many ways in which exile is introduced to and is further entangled within the wider narrative of the book, as Alison’s text resounds with intertextual echoes, images, and leitmotifs of Ovidian poetry, which become all the more significant when interpreted in view of the poet’s exile. The chapter explores the idea that this constitutes a metaliterary suggestion of how to read Ovid’s pre-exilic poetry in view of his exilic writings; in The Love-Artist Ovid’s exile ultimately becomes a trope which offers an intriguing modern approach to the poet’s work through a stimulating re-negotiation of fixed categories, such as man–woman, old–young, civilized–barbarian, home–exile, real–unreal.
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