Literary Precedents for Memoirs of Hadrian

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Whether history as literature or historical fiction, Memoirs of Hadrian is founded in the literary tradition of integrating the imaginative with the factual, notably associated with such writers as Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton. As a result, the narrative technique employed by Yourcenar in Memoirs of Hadrian which allows for external circumstance to project internal meaning is comparable among a wide assortment of distinguished work to Tolstoy's War and Peace (1865-1872) and Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities (1859), further enhanced by the positioning of the protagonist in direct confrontation with the finality of death. It is difficult, however, to easily categorize as diverse an author as Yourcenar. As a classical scholar and former teacher of comparative literature, Yourcenar has acknowledged the influence of an extraordinary range of authors from the Greek playwrights and seventeenth-century and Renaissance poets to the individual talents of Pierre Corneille...

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This section contains 215 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Memoirs of Hadrian Study Guide
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Gale
Memoirs of Hadrian from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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