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Lições sobre os Estudos de Religião

1ª sessão - 16.03.2017 - Prof.Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger (Freie Universität Berlin): "Narrating Narcissus, reflecting cognition: Illusion, disillusion, 'self-cognition' and 'love as passion' in Ovid and beyond"

Since Ovid's version of the Narcissus narrative, numerous readings and re-narrations have emerged across the globe that are related to the ancient myth of the beautiful youth who unwittingly sees himself in a pool of water and eventually dies staring at the insubstantial image. Generating a wide spectrum of reinterpretations of values, ideas, and aesthetic aspects inherent in the ancient narrative, its reception history has continued to elicit some of the most diverse intellectual responses to Greek and Roman mythology, each of them reflecting the cultural context in which they were produced. The present article is devoted to this issue, providing introductory perspectives on the Ovidian narrative and its ramifications by giving particular examples, especially of works taking up central themes of Ovid's version such as reflection and deception, illusion and (self-)cognition, passionate love for another and the incurable desire for oneself. Sensitive to the cultural contexts out of which the examples emerge, the paper conceptually frames the topics of narrative and narcissism and contextualizes them by drawing on insights from several theoretical strands and academic disciplines.

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