n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Perspective and poetics in Curtius' Gorgeous East

Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This article explores the particular significance, for twentieth and twenty-first century understandings of Classics, reception and cultural identity, of the story of Alexander the Great ascribed to Quintus Curtius Rufus. Starting from Deleuze's models of Time and the nature of Existence, the complex and oppositional nature of Curtius' narrative is explored, and this leads into a discussion of the interrelationship between concepts and realities of west and east. Intimate connexions between time, space and geography underlie this reading of Curtius, and the ways in which the Roman self plays off and consciously alludes to a synchronic appropriation of a high-concept 'Orient' that is at once Other, Alexander's and a Roman episteme. The textual colonialism of Curtius' story relentlessly assumes an intellectual community that will enjoy both the unknowability and the glamour, as well as appreciating the looming disaster, that travelling into the east connotes.

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