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In The Gatekeeper: Narrative Voice in Plato’s Dialogues Margalit Finkelberg offers the first narratological analysis of all of Plato’s transmitted dialogues. The book explores the dialogues as works of literary fiction, giving special emphasis to such topics as narrative levels, focalization, narrative frame, and metalepsis.


The main conclusion of the book is that in Plato the plurality of the speakers’ opinions is not accompanied by a plurality of points of view. Only one perspective is available, that of the narrator. Contrary to the widespread view, Plato’s dialogues cannot be considered multivocal, or “dialogic” in Bakhtin’s sense. By skillful use of narrative voice, Plato unobtrusively regulates the readers’ reception and response. The narrator is the dialogue’s gatekeeper, a filter whose main function is to control how the dialogue is received by the reader by sustaining a certain perspective of it.
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne

Abstract

Until recently it has generally been taken for granted that cultural contacts between the Aegean and the Near East invariably proceeded in one direction, from East to West. It seems, however, that recent archaeological discoveries are about to change this picture. As these discoveries demonstrate, with the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization some Bronze Age populations of Greece migrated to the Levant and settled along the Mediterranean coast from Tarsos in the north to Ashkelon in the south, eventually to be assimilated into the native population. This fact suggests a much more complex network of relations between the Aegean and the Near East than the simple one-sided cultural dependence which has usually been postulated.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
In: The Gatekeeper: Narrative Voice in Plato's Dialogues
In: The Gatekeeper: Narrative Voice in Plato's Dialogues