The Paradigm of Greek Romantic Prose Fiction (1830-1850): A reappraisal of A. Soutsos's 'The Exile of 1831'
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Refuting the assumption that the first novels after 1830 constitute the advent of Greek realism, this paper intends to corroborate Tziovas’s argument that these texts, drawing on the world construction of the Hellenistic and Byzantine adventure novel, constitute an idiosyncratic branch of European Romanticism. This will be evidenced through an analysis of A. Soutsos’s The Exile of 1831, theoretically underpinned by Bakhtin’s theory of the literary chronotope. A two-fold argument will be developed: ex negativo by opposing Bakhtin’s view on literary realism to the traditional manner in which the diegetic world of The Exile is constructed, and ex positivo by arguing that the narrative structure of the adventure novel can be regarded as a logical choice in view of the hypothesis that tension between the diegetic world and contemporary reality is characteristic of Romanticism. In turn, a similar approach will allow for a more coherent interpretation than literary critics have formulated to date.