2.4.3 Literature

This doesn't have the kind of physical presence that material evidence does, but it has a different strength: it gives us, more literally, voices from the past. We can, as it were, hear the ancient Greeks and Romans speak, about what happened, about how they felt, about what they thought, and experience how they expressed themselves. This gives us a rather different access to their world, complementary to the one we get from material culture.

Like the word ‘arts’, literature can sug
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.4.1 Archaeological evidence

This feels in some ways like the most ‘real’ source – where you can almost touch the Classical world, and where you get a sense of what the Classical world looked like. Classical archaeology covers a wide range of areas: not just buildings like the Parthenon or the temples at Paestum, but also cities, landscapes, graves, coins, battlefields, everyday items, plant and animal remains, ancient rubbish and much else. Archaeology often throws up evidence where literature doesn't. People, aft
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

At the end of this Unit you should be able to:

  • identify those aspects of Delacroix’s art that qualify it as ‘Romantic’;

  • come to an understanding of the interplay between classicism and Romanticism in Delacroix’s art;

  • appreciate the nature of Delacroix’s fascination with the Oriental and the exotic even before he visited Morocco.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Death

The final rite of passage, death itself, permeates the Victorian family album. Throughout the 19th century it was common practice, following the death of a relative, to commission memorial photographs. The overwhelming majority of these memorial photographs feature the person as living, not dead.

Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

4.9.2 Idealisation

Early photographers were adept at using natural lighting to idealise the sitter. Manuals of good practice were full of advice on adapting the lighting to soften wrinkles and wreathe blemishes in shadow.

For ladies of a certain age, who often give the photographer a deal of trouble, it is advisable to employ a very soft light falling in front, which softens the wrinkles and protuberances of the face, and obliterates
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Purpose

By now you have sufficient familiarity with early portraits to know that photographers regularly used painted backdrops and accessories to create a sort of stage set within the studio. These backgrounds came into widespread use with the introduction of the carte de visite in c.1860. Until the Second World War, 2 scenarios remained popular: the interior setting with windows, curtains, table and chair; and the parkland setting with trees, balustrade, rustic bench or stile. This choice of backdr
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.4 National variation

Relatively little research has been undertaken by photohistorians in the field of domestic photography. However, we should be aware that photography developed in different ways in different countries. So, for example, in Britain the daguerreotype remained a luxury article, as high prices restricted sales to the comfortable classes, whereas in America, because of early mass production techniques, studios could offer 4 daguerreotypes for 1 dollar.

Photography was, however, a European inve
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.1.3 Amateur snapshots 1880s–

Image 7 Photographer/Painter: Anon. Subject: Audrey in pushchair, 1950s.
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

3 Conclusion

In this unit you have been introduced to the main components of prose fiction and have been given the opportunity to develop and practise your critical and analytical skills. These are essential skills you will need to continue your stufdies in this area.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.5 Characterisation

How do writers of prose fiction make us respond to the imaginary people they create? In order to encourage us to continue reading writers must force us to react in some way to their characters, whether it is to identify, empathise or sympathise with them, to dislike or disapprove of them, or to pass judgement on their actions, behaviour and values. As we have already seen, the fundamental question we repeatedly ask when we read a story is what happened next. Equally importantly we want to kno
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

1 Why do we read prose fiction?

Prose fiction, whether in the form of the novel or the short story, is unarguably the most popular and widely consumed literary genre. One only has to see the proliferation of bookstalls at railway stations and airports, for example, and the predominance of novels over other forms of writing made available in such locations to realise the appeal of fiction.

Take a few moments to think about Why we read fiction? What do we hope to gain from reading stories about imag
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • recognise and discuss selected library texts from the Renaissance to the present;

  • know how to approach literary texts in terms of genre, gender and the canon;

  • understand and be able to apply technical analytical terms;

  • engage in close analysis of narrative and poetic language;

  • recognise performance is an interpretation of dramatic texts;

  • engage in comparative
    Author(s): The Open University

    License information
    Related content

    Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

References

Aristotle, Horace, Loginus (1984) Classical Literary Criticism, translated with an introduction by T.S. Dorsch, Penguin.
Baldick, R., Radice, B. and Jones, C.A. (eds) (1964) Aristophanes: The Wasps, The Poet and the Woman, and The Frogs, Penguin.
Barthes, R. (1977) ‘The death of the author’, in Image-Music-Text, edited and translated by Stephen Heath
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

7.1 Soliloquy

A soliloquy is a speech, usually quite lengthy, delivered by a character who is alone onstage. It is a convention of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods in particular, apparently giving direct access to that character's thoughts and feelings, divulging their intentions and reactions to events and to other people, and thus making that character more intimately known to the audience.

Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

1 Preliminary exercise

Before you start work on this unit, please watch the video sequence ‘Introducing the Roman World’ below. This visual introduction will introduce many of the terms to be defined in this unit and set them in context. It will also show the kinds of sources you might work on for evidence of culture, identity and power in the Roman empire if you continue to study this topic. You may wish to replay this short sequence as you work on the unit, but for now enjoy looking at the wide range of ideas
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.4 African Red Slip ware

Between about 30 BC and AD 75 the most common type of ceramic tableware in the empire was terra sigillata (often known as Samian ware). This was a shiny red-surfaced ceramic which was first made in Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy and then widely imitated in many areas such as Campania, Rome, southern and eastern Gaul, and Asia Minor. The forms of this pottery were typically cups, bowls, plates and dishes. Beyond the areas where it was produced, the pottery was widely traded and it has been fo
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.2.3 Model 3: African + Roman = African persistence and no evidence of Roman traits dominating (sep

This scenario sees African culture surviving following the Roman conquest, and where Roman culture is visible it does not replace preexisting practice. Here we might imagine a laissez-faire attitude on the part of the Roman state, allowing the conquered people to carry on in their previous ways and the African people not needing to, or wanting to, adopt Roman customs, practices, forms of representation and cultural identity. In this model we might expect to find Roman and African trait
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • practise identification of ‘indigenous’ identity and culture;

  • practise identification of ‘Roman’ identity and culture;

  • study the development of Romano-African culture.


Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

2.2 Insider/outsider perspectives

Social historians have long argued that we must study history ‘from the underside’, if we want to thoroughly understand a society. In other words, it is not sufficient to have a top-down knowledge of a society's institutions and politics. We need also to examine how ordinary, ‘unimportant’ people operate within a culture: what influences them and what they can (and cannot) influence; how they see their role in society and how others see it. The outsider view is the view from the outsi
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share

1.6 Sources of authority

A very useful way of gaining insight into a religion and seeing how it works is to examine its sources of authority: for example, whether authority is vested in scriptures, in religious specialists, in tradition, in personal experience or a combination of these. Even in traditions where there is some agreement on what counts as an authoritative text, there are still contested issues of how that text is to be interpreted, by whom, with what degree of literalness and in what context. Similarly,
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and/or otherwise stated (see terms and conditions) the content in OpenLearn is released for use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share