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Imagining the PastHistorical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt$
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Colleen Manassa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982226.001.0001

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Intimations of an Earlier Age

Intimations of an Earlier Age

History and Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt

(p.1) Chapter 1 Intimations of an Earlier Age
Imagining the Past

Colleen Manassa

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the approaches to history during the New Kingdom, including a tour of Medinet Habu through the eyes of an ancient administrator, Amunmose. A survey of the intertextual universe of historical fiction includes a discussion of military literature, day-book texts, and other New Kingdom fictional tales. The definition of historical fiction as a genre is then presented, using the genre theories of Alastair Fowler and Mikhail Bakhtin; this discussion represents the first application of Bakhtin’s theory of the chronotope to ancient Egyptian literature. The physical media of the four works of historical fiction are examined—the hieratic papyri and their interesting use of different grammatical forms in the ancient Egyptian language.

Keywords:   intertextuality, Mikhail Bakhtin, chronotope, genre theory, Medinet Habu, military literature, papyri

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