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The Semiotics of Caesar Augustus (Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics)

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 22 Aug 2019
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, better known as Augustus, was the first Roman emperor and is one of the most iconic figures in world history. Two thousand years after his death, Augustus remains a strong presence in modern culture. The Semiotics of Caesar Augustus examines the meanings and significances of Augustus in Western literary and popular culture, from the 1960s until the turn of the millennium. Drawing on the theoretical background of semiotics and classical reception studies, Elina Pyy investigates the representation of Augustus in the postmodern novels of Kurt Vonnegut and Christoph Ransmayr, as well as in the genre of historical fiction, and in screen representations from both sides of the Atlantic.Scrutinizing what Caesar Augustus stood for in the postmodern world, and the main factors that influenced (and still influence) the modern reader's interpretation of him, this book is grounded on the premise that the past, being a system of signs based on our culturally shared understanding of them, is continuously created and reconstructed by the modern audience. Arguing that the 'many faces of the emperor' can be considered to be reactions to contemporary cultural, socio-political or emotional needs, The Semiotics of Caesar Augustus shows how his character was recurrently utilized to explain and understand the ways in which the discourses of power, liberty, oppression and humanity operated in the postmodern world.
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Paperback (1) 17870 lei  Economic 4-6 săpt. +3483 lei  6-9 zile
  Bloomsbury Publishing – 22 Aug 2019 17870 lei  Economic 4-6 săpt. +3483 lei  6-9 zile
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  Bloomsbury Publishing – 22 Feb 2018 52665 lei  Economic 4-6 săpt. +25147 lei  12-20 zile

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ISBN-13: 9781350126671
ISBN-10: 1350126675
Pagini: 224
Dimensiuni: 156 x 234 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.31 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Academic
Seria Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics

Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


Combines the methods of literary semiotics with the tradition of classical reception studies to better understand the intersections between the classical past and the present

Notă biografică

Elina Pyy is a researcher in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.


1. Introduction: The Man, the Myth, the Legend2. The many faces of Augustus: Appropriations of the Emperor Through the Ages3. Pater patriae, pax Romana: Augustus and 'the End of History'4. Augustus the Tyrant: Ancient History, Modern Anxieties5. Comparative Voices: Augustus in Historical Fiction6. Comparative Voices II: Augustus on Screen7. ConclusionBibliographyIndex


Successfully interweaves post-modernism with semiotics and reception theory to create a compelling narrative of the role of Augustus in the twentieth- century context . Throughout her book, Pyy has linked the varied interpretations of Augustus that inform his portrayal to the ambiguous nature of his representation in the ancient sources . The analysis is detailed and convincing. The volume establishes the role of the emperor in the postmodern discourse of power, politics, and leadership, highlighting his continuing significance in the modern imagination. It is an insightful work for scholars and advanced students alike, providing inspiration for a deeper analysis of the representation of Augustus Caesar, wherever he might be found.
Augustus meets semiotics. In this original and engaging book Elina Pyy juxtaposes the various representations of Augustus in the ancient sources with his various incarnations in modern literature and popular culture. Her in-depth and theoretically informed discussion casts new light on the works of literature and films she has chosen to analyse and demonstrates the value of her approach. Written in a lively and reader-friendly style the book will be of interest not only to classicists and semioticians but also to those who are more generally interested in the reception of Classical Antiquity.
Implicitly challenging specialists from different disciplines, avid readers of historic novels, enthusiasts of the use of history on the big and small screen, analysts in the field of communication, interpreters of political language, Pyy's volume highlights various and more recent "Metamorphoses" of a key figure in ancient history, destined to remain immortal in the western collective imagination, as well as in its cultural memory.
The enigmatic figure of Caesar Augustus has been mobilized politically and ideologically for over 2000 years, and particularly in times of turmoil. This book provides a symptomatic reading of different portrayals of Augustus in a variety of examples of 20th century novels, historical fiction, film and television by using an approach grounded in classical historical sources and scholarship on the one hand, and a thematic reception-based interpretation of Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr Rosewater on the other. In the case of Augustus, as for many other iconic figures, image triumphs over reality.