The study of closure has played a significant part in contemporary literary criticism and is implicated in many of its concerns, from psychological aspects of the search for an end in narrative to the order imposed upon a text by politics or culture. This collection is the first large- scale attempt to assess the implications of closure for the study of classical literature. Twelve new essays by an international group of scholars focus on endings in Greek and Latin literature and demonstrate the different sorts of questions these endings pose: What narrative strategies did Hellenistic novelists employ? What is the political subtext of Ovid's half-finished roman calendar? What cultural work is performed by the portrayal of a warrior's heroic end in the Iliad? Embracing a wide range of ancient authors and genres, the collection begins by closely examining critical approaches to closure, and ends with a comparative discussion of ancient and modern narrative. The extensive bibliography includes a survey of work in different fields that further illustrates the variety of approaches to closure.
Each of the editors has contributed an essay to this volume. Additional contributors include Sheila Murnaghan, Ian Rutherford, Carolyn Dewald, Peta Fowler, Philip Hardie, W. R. Johnson, Alessandro Barchiesi, Massimo Fusillo, and Christopher Pelling.