Abstract: "Ambiguities of War. Studies in the Narrativity of Silius Italicus Punica." (working title)
This dissertation is concerned with the multiplicity of meaning in the Punica that has long been recognised in the research conducted on Silius. This study seeks to define this plurality of interpretations as an intrinsic and strategic literary ambiguity which has not been examined in research yet. Such a research endeavour relies on an interdisciplinary combination of the theories of structuralistic narratology and modern analytical models, such as the Possible-Worlds-Theory, for example. The focus of the analysis concentrates on the following three aspects: (1) Silius’ strategic re-interpretation of the Homeric and Virgilian pretexts, (2) the problem of the double reference to mythological-fictional as well as historical-factual plot elements, and (3) the ambiguous focalisation that is induced by the complex multiplicity of heroes, i.e. multiperspectivity. In this context, the dissertation aims to contribute to a more precise understanding of literary ambiguity emerging at the intersection point between production and reception, which has so far been analysed mainly as a (post)modern phenomenon. The project is part of the Research Training Group 1808 “Ambiguity – Production and Perception” (https://www.uni-tuebingen.de/forschung/forschungsschwerpunkte/graduiertenkollegs/grk-1808-ambiguitaet-produktion-und-rezeption.html ).