A Total Write-Off: Continuity and Competition

I. A. Ruffell

in Politics and Anti-Realism in Athenian Old Comedy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587216
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731297 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

A Total Write-Off: Continuity and Competition

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The interactions between comic poets has been increasingly recognized in recent years. This chapter develops a model for such constructive and competitive interactions, drawing on both studies of the seriality of popular culture and the analysis of running jokes that was earlier articulated with reference to comic plot. Intertextual appropriation of comic jokes, ideas, and plots is shown to be part of an intertextual game of competitive capping which is central to the construction and maintenance of poet's authority. Imaginative re-use of material and imaginative claims of novelty are the corollaries of political and cultural value, while also providing the basis of impossible comic worlds, episodes and characters. Such competition and construction of impossible worlds is shown through the series of plays featuring worlds of spontaneous plenty, through the interaction between Aristophanes and Kratinos, and through the plays of Aristophanes and Pherekrates where women are central. Explicit and implicit comic intertextuality are brought together in further consideration of Aristophanes' Peace, in relation to both Kratinos and Eupolis.

Keywords: Aristophanes; Kratinos; Pherekrates; Eupolis; comic intertextuality; seriality; competition; capping; authority; novelty

Chapter.  31519 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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