Epilogue without end: A metonymic reading of a love story

5§1. I bring this whole project to an end by experimenting with a text that has no real ending. The text is an erotic novel—or, to say it more generally, a love story—attributed to one Xenophon of Ephesus, who is conventionally dated to the second century CE.
5§2. In my experiment, I do two things. First, I produce a working translation of three passages that I have extracted from this novel and, second, I supplement this translation with an ongoing commentary—together with some special annotations that I have added at 5§6 and 5§9. Both the commentary and the annotations focus on my metonymic reading of the whole novel—and on the relevance of this reading to what I have said about metonymy in all four parts of my book.
5§3. The novel centers on a girl and a boy who fall in love with each other at a festival of the goddess Artemis in Ephesus and who are soon thereafter united in marriage—but who are then brutally separated from each other and experience many tribulations before they are finally reunited in their mutual love. I highlight, from the start, the fact that the young lovers in the story fall in love at one particular moment in the course of the festival of Artemis. That moment will come toward the end of the first passage that we are about to read, and it happens at the climax of a procession that is heading toward the sacred precinct of the goddess.
5§4. This procession and its climax, as we will see, reveals a fundamental truth about processions: to process in a procession is to participate in the actual process of metonymy.
5§5. As we are about to see in the first passage that I will be quoting, the girl and the boy who will soon fall in love cannot yet see each other while they are actually processing in the procession honoring the goddess Artemis, since all the girls and all the boys are processing separately. But then, when the procession finally reaches the sacred precinct, the separate groupings of girls and boys are finally merged, and the girl and the boy finally get a chance to take their first good look at each other. So, the climax of the procession coincides with the precise moment when the girl and the boy make eye contact.
5§5. That said, I am ready to start translating the first of the three passages that I will highlight. This passage will lead up slowly—ever so slowly—to the climactic moment of eye contact:

Extract 5-A

1.1.1 There was in Ephesus a man who was a member of the leadership of the city there, Lykomedes by name. To this man Lykomedes and his wife, Themisto, native [epikhōrios] of the city, was born a boy called Habrokomēs [= ‘having a komē ‘head of hair’ that is habrā ‘luxuriant’], who was a prodigy of beauty such as never happened before in all Ionia. 1.1.2 This Habrokomes was with every day becoming more and more beautiful, and there was a synchronized blossoming [= sun- plus verb of anthos] of the beauty of his body [sōma] with the nobility of his spirit [psūkhē]. He was well trained in all forms of upbringing [paideiā], and he practiced the art of the Muses [= mousikē] in all its varieties [adjective poikilē]. Hunting, horsemanship, and the skillful handling of weapons were customary gymnastic pursuits of his. 1.1.3 He was most highly regarded by all the people of Ephesus, along with all those who inhabited the rest of Asia [= Asia Minor], and they had great hopes for him that he would become an outstanding citizen. The way they related to the boy was as to a god. There were already those who made proskynesis to him when they saw him and prayed to him. 1.1.4 The boy thought very highly of himself and gloried in the successes of his spirit [psūkhē], but even more so in the beauty of his body [sōma]. And whatever beautiful things were said about all others, he would look down on them as inferior. For him there was nothing to be seen or heard that was worthy of Habrokomes. 1.1.5 And if he heard that a boy was beautiful or a girl had a good shape, he would laugh at those who said so, since they did not realize that he was the one beautiful person, all by himself. As for Eros, he [= Habrokomes] did not consider him to be a god. He cast him [= Eros] out of his mind altogether, thinking that he [= Eros] was nothing, and saying that no one would ever fall in love or be subjugated to the god if they did not want to. 1.1.6 And if he ever saw a sacred space or statue of Eros, he would mock it, declaring himself to be more beautiful than every Eros. And that is the way it really was. For wherever Habrokomes was seen, there was no beautiful statue in view, nor was there an image [eikōn] that could be praised. 1.2.1 In response to these things, Eros is now feeling anger [mēnis]. That god loves conflict, and he is inexorable toward the haughty. He was devising a tekhnē against the boy. For in fact even to the god the boy appeared to be difficult to capture. So, arming himself with the full force of the charms of love, he [= Eros] started his war on Habrokomes. 1.2.2 A native festival [epikhōrios heortē] of Artemis was in progress, extending from the city all the way to the sacred space [hieron]. The distance is seven stadium-lengths. It was the regulation that there should be a procession [= verb of pompē] of all the native [epikhōrioi] girls, who would be arranging [kosmeîn] their looks in the most expensive ways [polu-telōs], and the same goes for all the ephebes [= boys in a fixed age-class] as well who were the same age as Habrokomes. He himself [= Habrokomes] was around the sixteen-year-old mark, and he joined up with the ephebes and won the first prize of first position in the procession [pompē]. 1.2.3 There was a huge crowd for the viewing [theā]. Many people were natives [epikhōrioi] of the city, while many others were from other cities. For in fact there was a custom, at that festival [panēguris], for bridegrooms to be found for the girls and for wives to be found for the ephebes. 1.2.4 The participants in the procession [pompē] went along in file formation. First in order were the sacred [hiera] objects and the torches and the baskets and the incense. After them came the horses and the hunting dogs and the hunting equipment—some of the equipment was connected with war but most of it was connected with peace. Each of the girls arranged [kosmeîn] her looks in such a way as one does oneself up for one’s lover. 1.2.5 Leading the processional file of girls was Anthiā [derived from anthos ‘blossom’], daughter of Megamedes and Euhippe, both natives [enkhōrioi] of the city. The beauty of Anthia was a thing to marvel at [= verb of thauma], and she far surpassed the other girls. She was fourteen years old. Her body was blossoming [= verb of anthos] in response to [= epi] her fine shape. And the manifold self-arrangement [kosmos] of her pose [skhēma] was put together in such a way as to achieve perfect seasonality [hōrā]. 1.2.6 Her head of hair [komē] was golden, and most of it was let down but some of it, just a little, was plaited [= verb plekein] and set in motion to be picked up by the breezes. Her eyes were fierce, bright like those of the divine Maiden [Kore], but forbidding, too, as of one who has good balance [sōphrosunē]. Her dress was a tunic [khitōn] treated with purple dye, and it was girded so as to show her knee, with loose sleeves that showed her arms. Draped over her dress was fawnskin. A quiver was slung over her shoulder. There were arrows and javelins in it. Hunting dogs attended her. 1.2.7 At that moment, as the people of Ephesus saw her reaching the sacred space [temenos], they started making proskynesis to her, over and over again, as to Artemis. At that moment, at the very sight of her, the crowd shouted out. Varied [poikilo-] were the voices coming from them as they were viewing [= verb of theā] her. Some, experiencing astonishment [ekplēxis], were saying that she is the goddess. Others were saying that she was some kind of surrogate for the goddess. But all prayed to her and made proskynesis to her and called her parents blessed. And all those who were viewing [= verb of theā] her shouted “Anthia the beautiful.” 1.2.8 As the crowd of the other girls went by in the procession, no one said anything except “Anthia.” And when Habrokomes, along with the other ephebes, appeared in the procession, from then on, although the view [theā] featuring the girls was so beautiful, everyone lost track of them when they saw Habrokomes, and they turned their gaze [opsis plural] at him and were shouting, experiencing astonishment [ekplēxis] at the view [theā] and saying “Habrokomes is beautiful” and “he is—like no one else—a reenactment [mīmēma] of the god.” 1.2.9 Already there were those who added this to the formula: “what a wedding this would be, the wedding of Habrokomes and Anthia!” These things, then, were the initial practice runs [meletēmata] of the tekhnē of Eros. Rapidly did the news about the two of them reach each other. And Anthia conceived in her heart [thūmos] a desire to see Habrokomes, while Habrokomes, up to now free of eros, began wanting to see Anthia. 1.3.1 When the procession [pompē] finally reached its culmination [telos] and the whole crowd entered the sacred [hieron] space in order to make sacrifice [thuein] and when the arrangement [kosmos] of the procession [pompē] was finally dissolved and all the men and women entered the same space, as well as all the ephebes and girls, then it was that the two of them get to see one other, and Anthia is captured [= “captivated”] by Habrokomes, while Habrokomes is defeated by Eros. He was looking right into the maiden [korē], one moment right after another, and, though he wanted to break away from the view [opsis], he simply couldn’t. He was held fast by the god, who was pressing on him. 1.3.2 Anthia too was feeling wickedly sick, receiving with eyes wide open the beauty of Habrokomes as it was flowing into her. She was already despising all those things that are proper things to do for girls. She was ready to chatter about anything, just so that Habrokomes would hear it, and she was ready to bare parts of her body [sōma] as far as she could, just so that Habrokomes could see it. And he gave himself up completely to the view [theā] and was captured as the god’s prisoner of war. 1.3.3 Then, having finished the sacrifice [thuein], they departed from the [sacred] space in sadness and feeling resentful about the speed of the departure. Wanting to look at each other, they kept turning backwards and standing back, finding countless excuses for delay. 1.3.4 Each going in separate ways, they finally made their ways back to their homes, and only the moment they got back did each of the two realize just how far they had got themselves into trouble. The consciousness of the sight [opsis] of each other came over them, and eros was kindled in them. For the rest of the day, they were stoking the desire in their heart [thūmos], and, when they went into sleep, they made direct contact with the nasty thing, and the eros inside each of them was to be held back no more. 1.4.1 Then, reacting to all this, Habrokomes grabbed his own head of hair [komē] and dismembered [= made a sparagmos of] the fabric of his clothing, saying to himself: “oh, oh, am I in trouble!”
Xenophon of Ephesus 1.1.1–1.4.5 [1]
5§6. Annotations:
1.1.1aa boy called Habrokomēs. This name Habrokomēs means ‘having a komē [head of hair] that is habrā [luxuriant]’.

1.1.1bin all Ionia. Throughout the narrative, there is a sense of Ionian identity. More specifically, since the city of Ephesus is a pre-eminent city in the Ionian regions of Asia Minor and the outlying islands, there is also a sense of Ephesian identity, as expressed by the persistent use of the words epikhōrios and enkhōrios, both of which I translate as ‘native’. Such references create the impression that the narration must be happening in Ionia in general and in Ephesus in particular.

1.1.3And there were already those who made proskynesis to him. The noun proskunēsis and the corresponding verb proskuneîn both refer to a ritual act of ‘worshipping a superhuman power’. We have already seen the verb proskuneîn in 1§131. The ritual act of proskuneîn, which I translate here simply as ‘make proskynesis’, is an indirect ‘kiss’: the idea is to kiss whatever comes into contact with the one who is worshipped—as in the case of kissing the clothing, or the ground walked on, or the air between the worshipped and the worshipper, and so on. The ostentatious use of ‘already’ here suggests that the episodic practice of making the gesture of proskynesis to Habrokomes in the past time of the narrative is a prototype for an ongoing ritual practice of worshipping Habrokomes in the present time of narrating the narrative in Ephesus.

1.1.6amore beautiful than every Eros. The rhetoric of mocking Eros here makes the god multiple.

1.1.6bFor wherever Habrokomes was seen, there was no beautiful statue in view, nor was there an image [eikōn] that could be praised. By implication, the picturing of Eros is blocked by the view of Habrokomes in the past time of the narrative. That is, there are no statues or pictures of Eros to be seen in the past time of the narrative, as opposed to the present time of narrating the narrative. It is as if the narrative exists in a time frame in which there are no images of Eros. Habrokomes with his good looks has ‘become’ Eros. By contrast, in the present time when the story is being told in Ephesus, the antithesis of mutually exclusive viewing has given way to a synthesis of inclusive viewing. From the perspective of those who worship the god Eros, Habrokomes has exactly the same silhouette as Eros, while from the perspective of Eros as a god to be worshipped, the figure of Eros is projecting the figure Habrokomes—with the unfortunate result that no one can see Eros. So, those who are hearing the story are now in a world where they cannot see past Habrokomes. The blocking of the view of Eros by the view of Habrokomes is an eclipse, and only the penumbra of the light emanating from Eros can show through. [2]

1.2.1aEros is now feeling anger [mēnis]. The present tense suggests that this response of Eros is universal, not particular. That is, the response of Eros is not restricted to the past time of the narrative but extends to the present time of narrating the narrative.

1.2.1bAnd he was devising a tekhnē against the boy. The tekhnē is not only the ‘art’ of Eros in capturing Habrokomes: it is also the art of the narrative in captivating those who hear the narration.

1.2.2aA native festival [epikhōrios heortē] of Artemis was in progress, extending from the city all the way to the sacred space [hieron]. The distance is seven stadium-lengths. It was the regulation that there should be a procession [= verb of pompē] of all the native [epikhōrioi] girls. Here we see a double synecdoche of procession and festival, parallel to what we saw most recently in 4§§169–176.

1.2.2bwho would be arranging [kosmeîn] their looks in the most expensive ways [polu-telōs]. The adverb polu-telōs ‘in the most expensive ways’ is derived from the adjective polu-telēs, meaning ‘involving much expense’. But there is a deeper meaning underneath the surface, since the noun telos from which the adjective derives means not only ‘expense’ but also ‘the perfecting of a ritual process’. [3] In the present context, the arrangement of each girl’s outer appearance is a ritual necessity, and this necessity is conveyed by the verb kosmeîn, which refers to the ways in which someone ‘arranges’ her or his exterior appearance. This verb is derived from the noun kosmos, meaning ‘order, arrangement, self-arrangement’. These same words kosmos and kosmeîn can refer not only to the microcosmic self-arrangement or make-up of a person whose outer appearance is beautifully put together for a public ritual event—hence the meaning of the modern word cosmetic—but also to the macrocosmic putting together of the universe, the cosmos. Later on, at 1.2.4 and at 1.2.5, we see another expression of this “cosmic” and “cosmetic” theme. Further, at 1.2.5, the kosmos or self-arrangement of Anthia is synchronized with hōrā, that is, with the seasonality of the entire universe. [4] Still further, at 1.3.1, we see that the very idea of a procession that leads into a festival is conceived as a kosmos—as a universal whole in the sense of the modern word cosmos. That is why, in the context of 1.3.1, the entire procession held in honor of Artemis is called a kosmos. In this same context, the self-arrangement of a participant in the ritual process of a procession is meant to be synchronized with the cosmos.

1.2.2call the ephebeswho were the same age as Habrokomes. The wording of the narrative implies that Habrokomes was a model of the age group, not simply a member, like the others. If the narrative, as myth, is an aetiology of the ritual of the pompē or ‘procession’, then Habrokomes becomes ex post facto a model for the ritual.

1.2.4aFirst in order were the sacred [hiera] objects and the torches and the baskets and the incense. I note the metonymy: those who process in the procession are indexed in terms of what they are carrying in the sequence of processing.

1.2.4bAfter them came the horses and the hunting dogs and the hunting equipment—some of the equipment was connected with war but most of it was connected with peace. We see here further metonymy by way of sequencing. The identities of the persons linked with these features of the procession are elided.

1.2.4cEach of the girls arranged [kosmeîn] her looks in such a way as one does oneself up for one’s lover. Here, as I already noted, we see clearly the “cosmetic” aspect of kosmos. What is so deeply personalized, however, is also at the same time broadly universalized. I highlight the fact that the verb kosmeîn, referring to the self-arrangement of each girl, is used here in the pluperfect form. This pluperfect has a metonymic significance. As David A. Smith has shown, when a verb in the pluperfect tense is inserted within a sequence of other verbs in the past tense, the pluperfect has the function of indicating a climactic moment in the narrative. [5] In the context of describing the self-arrangement of each girl in the procession, the pluperfect here is highlighting, one at a time, a singular climactic moment in the personal experience of each girl participating in the procession.

1.2.5aLeading the processional file of girls was Anthiā. Here is the first mention of Anthiā in the narrative; the name derives from anthos ‘blossom’. She is a perfect match for Habrokomēs, whose name as we have seen means ‘having a komē [head of hair] that is habrā [luxuriant]’. The metonymy of the lovers’ names, Habrokomēs and Anthiā, is symmetrical with the metonymy of a luxuriant head of hair and a beautiful garland of blossoms intertwined with the hair. Such a garland is to be worn at a festival. On the occasion of a festival, garlands and hair go together metonymically. I am reminded here of a modern aphorism: “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” [6]

1.2.5bAnd the manifold self-arrangement [kosmos] of her pose [skhēma] was put together in such a way as to achieve perfect seasonality [hōrā]. As I have already argued in an earlier annotation (at 1.2.2[b]), the kosmos or self-arrangement of Anthia—that is, the way in which she is put together—is synchronized with hōrā, that is, with the seasonality of the entire cosmos. Her self-arrangement is seen as the pose of a dancer. The ancient Greek term skhēma (which becomes the modern word scheme) can refer to the “freeze-frame” or stop-motion pose of a dancer or of a statue. [7]

1.2.7aThere were arrows and javelins in it [= the quiver]. This detail is clarified by another detail mentioned earlier at 1.2.4, where it is said that the peacetime weapons of hunting outshine the wartime weapons.

1.2.7bAt that moment, at the very sight of her, the crowd shouted out. … Some, experiencing astonishment [ekplēxis], were saying that she is the goddess. This moment, which creates a personal as well as a communal experience of ekplēxis ‘astonishment’, marks a sight that can truly be described as an epiphany. I recall here my working definition of epiphany at 1§§128–129, elaborated at 2§§14–15.

1.2.7cOthers were saying that she was some kind of surrogate for the goddess. The surrogacy is expressed by way of the verb peripoieîsthai in the sense of ‘be encompassed’: it is as if Anthia were ‘encompassed’ by the goddess. A distinction is being made here between the perception of a full-grade initiate, who recognizes the moment when a human becomes divine in the ritual climax of an epiphany, and the perception of a partial-grade initiate, whose powers of inductiveness have not yet reached the telos or ‘ritual perfection’ of full understanding.

1.2.8and they turned their gaze [opsis plural] at him and were shouting, experiencing astonishment [ekplēxis] at the view [theā]. Just as the viewers at 1.2.7 experience ekplēxis ‘astonishment’ in seeing Anthia as an epiphany of the goddess Artemis, so also now at 1.2.8 they experience ekplēxis ‘astonishment’ in seeing Habrokomes as an epiphany of the discreetly unnamed god Eros. The discretion is motivated by the overt virginity of the goddess Artemis. I must take this moment here to express my own personal sense of astonishment as I marvel at the ritual precision of the language that is used here in describing the double epiphany that is mediated by Anthia and Habrokomes.

1.3.1When the procession [pompē] finally reached its culmination [telos] and the whole crowd entered the sacred space in order to make sacrifice [thuein] and when the arrangement [kosmos] of the procession [pompē] was finally dissolved and all the men and women entered the same space, as well as all the ephebes and girls, then it was that the two of them get to see one other. To show the symmetrical arrangement of the syntax here, I quote the original Greek, with special highlighting: Ὡς οὖν ἐτετέλεστο ἡ πομπή ἦλθον δὲ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν θύσοντες ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος καὶ ὁ τῆς πομπῆς κόσμος ἐλέλυτο ᾔεσαν δὲ ἐς ταὐτὸν ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες, ἔφηβοι καὶ παρθένοι, ἐνταῦθα ὁρῶσιν ἀλλήλους. The highlighted form e-te-teles-to, which I translated as ‘finally reached is culmination’, is the pluperfect of the verb teleîsthai meaning ‘reach a telos or point of ritual completion’. This form is correlated, by way of the conjunction kai meaning ‘and’, with another highlighted form, e-le-lu-to, which I translated as ‘was finally dissolved’ and which is the pluperfect of the verb luesthai meaning ‘be dissolved’. So, the when-clause here introduces two correlated pluperfect forms signaling a climax in the sequence of action, and both pluperfects mark the same climax, expressing it in two different ways. Further, these two pluperfects are each followed by consecutive clauses introduced by the conjunction de meaning ‘and’, where both clauses mean the same thing: (1) ‘and [de] the whole crowd entered the sacred space’, which comes after ‘when the procession [pompē] finally reached its culmination [telos]’, and (2) ‘and [de] all the men and women entered the same space, as well as all the ephebes and girls’, which comes after ‘when the arrangement [kosmos] of the procession [pompē] was finally dissolved’. In the logic of this sequence of events, the two pluperfects are expressing the same climactic ritual moment, which is when the pompē ‘procession’ reaches its culmination and can finally be dissolved, so that the participants may now finally enter the sacred space of Artemis, where they will now perform the sacrifice that is signaled by the verb thuein ‘sacrifice’. This complex when-clause is then followed by the simplex main clause, where a verb in the present tense captures the moment when Anthia and Habrokomes finally get to see one another for the very first time. So, the trajectory of the pompē is not only the procession in and of itself but also the plot of the story, which climaxes in sacrifice, which in turn signals the moment when the two lovers finally get to see one another. I am ready to say, then, that the plot of the story, as a metonymic sequence, corresponds to the order of the procession, which is a parallel universe of metonymic sequencing. That said, I have come to the point that I anticipated in 5§4: to process in a procession is to participate in the actual process of metonymy. To put it another way, a procession is a process of metonymy.

1.3.2And he gave himself up completely to the view [theā] and was captured as the god’s prisoner of war. Again, a pluperfect here marks the climactic moment.

1.3.3Then, having finished the sacrifice [thuein], they departed from the [sacred] space in sadness and feeling resentful about the speed of the departure. Clearly, the act of thuein ‘sacrificing’ here is not just the slaughtering and cooking and dividing and consuming of beef but rather, metonymically, it is also the whole festival and all the experiences that come with it. When the sacrifice is over, the party is over. So, the happy part of the story is finished for now. and the lingering aftereffect is a melancholic desire for a reprise of the story—for experiencing the story as a re-enactment of the whole myth-ritual complex that was the festival of Artemis in Ephesus.

1.3.4Only the moment they got back did each of the two realize just how far they had got themselves into trouble. Again we see here a pluperfect of a climactic moment. In this case, the two characters are made to realize the climax of their own story.
5§7. Now I proceed, “fast-forward,” to the second of the three passages I translate. I divide this passage, which is already nearing the end of the whole novel, into three subsets, which I label Ba, Bb, and Bc.
5§8. As we rejoin the action in subset Ba, we can see that the lovers Habrokomes and Anthia have already been separated from each other for a long time, and they have experienced many tribulations since their separation. [8] Here is the immediate context… At 5.11.1, a character named Hippothoös, who now owns Anthia as his slave, has decided to take her back with him from ‘Italia’ to Ephesus. They have boarded a huge Ephesian ship and have set sail together, heading for Ephesus. As we reach 5.11.2, the ship has just now stopped over at the grand city harbor of the island of Rhodes. Hippothoös and Anthia stay overnight in a house where Anthia is chaperoned by an old woman named Althaia. On the next day, before Hippothoös and Anthia can set sail from Rhodes, something intervenes, as we see here in Subset Ba:

Extract 5-Ba

5.11.2 A major festival [heortē] was being celebrated at the public expense of the people of Rhodes in honor of the god Helios, and there was a procession [pompē] and a sacrifice [thusiā] and a huge crowd of citizens celebrating the feast [= verb of heortē]. 5.11.3 Present at this occasion were Leukon and Rhode [= faithful former retainers of Anthia], intending not so much to take part in the festival [heortē] as to go on a search in hopes of finding out something, anything, about Anthia. Right at that point Hippothoös arrived in the sacred space [hieron], bringing Anthia with him. And she, looking off at the displayed votive offerings and remembering things from the past, said: “I address you, O god Helios, you who look upon all things connected with all humans, you who have bypassed no one but me alone, unfortunate wretch that I am. The previous time I was in Rhodes, I was happy and with good fortune [tukhē] as I gave you proskynesis and sacrificed [thuein] sacrifices [thusiā plural] to you along with Habrokomes, and I was thought to be happy and well blessed by gods [daimones] back then. But now I am a slave instead of a free woman, and I am a prisoner of war, unfortunate wretch that I am, a woman no longer blessed by good fortune, and I am going to Ephesus all alone and I will be revealed to the members of my household as a woman who no longer has Habrokomes. 5.11.5 She said these things and followed up [= epi-] what she said with many a tear and asked Hippothoös to allow her to part company with some of her own hair [komē] and to offer it as a votive offering to the god Helios and to utter some prayer [eukhesthai] about Habrokomes. 5.11.6 Hippothoös complied. And she, cutting off from her locks [plokamoi] as much as she could and seizing an opportune moment when everyone else had departed [from the sacred space], she offered it up as an offering, inscribing [epigraphein] it: “On behalf of Habrokomes, husband. Anthia. Her hair [komē] she offered as an offering to the god.” Having done these things and having uttered a prayer [eukhesthai] she was about to go away with Hippothoös. 5.12.1 But Leukon and Rhode, who had up to now been circulating around the procession [pompē], now stop over at the sacred space [hieron], and they look at [blepein] the offerings and recognize the names of their masters. The first thing they do is to greet the hair [komē] and weep over it many times over, as if they were looking at [blepein] Anthia herself, and then in the end [derivative of telos], when they were done, they started going around [the city] in hopes of being able to find that [ekeinē] woman herself.
Xenophon of Ephesus 5.11.2–5.12.1 [9]
5§9. Annotations:
5.11.2A major festival [heortē] was being celebrated …, and there was a procession [pompē] and a sacrifice [thusiā]. Here we see the double synecdoche of pompē ‘procession’ and thusiā ‘sacrifice’.

5.11.3to go on a search in hopes of finding out something, anything, about Anthia. As of now, Anthia is a vision that has completely disappeared from the view of the searchers. But soon they will be contemplating the komē ‘hair’ as if they could see all of Anthia.

5.12.1aThey look at [blepein] the offerings and recognize the names of their masters. The searchers, after having read the inscription that Anthia had left behind in the sacred place, can now recognize Anthia just by looking at [blepein] her offering of hair [komē].

5.12.1bThe first thing they do is to greet the hair [komē] and weep over it many times over, as if they were looking at [blepein] Anthia herself. By way of metonymy, the big picture becomes visible merely by way of looking at [blepein] the hair of Anthia—as if they were looking at [blepein] Anthia herself. We have here a most striking example of ritualized synecdoche.

5.12.1cin hopes of being able to find that [ekeinē] woman herself. The pronoun ekeinē, referring to ‘that’ woman, visualizes the totality of Anthia in the discourse of the narrative. This pronoun ekeinos/ekeinē is conventionally used in contexts describing an epiphany. [10]
5§10. The story now continues to track what happens to Leukon and Rhode on that same day (5.12.2). The couple searches for Anthia but still cannot find her. Then they go back to the house where they are staying with Habrokomes, who is also on the island, unbeknownst to Anthia, and they tell him what they saw. He is filled with hopes of finding Anthia. Then, the story shifts to the next day (5.12.3). Anthia goes back to the sacred space with Hippothoös, since there is still no ship available for sailing on to Ephesus, and I quote here in Subset Bb the wording that captures what she does next:

Extract 5-Bb

She [= Anthia] sits down ritually among the offerings, weeping and sighing.
Xenophon of Ephesus 5.12.3 [11]
5§11. It is as if Anthia herself, not only her lock of hair, became a votive offering in the sacred space of the temple. She is becoming a ritual metonym. Meanwhile, as we continue where we just left off (5.12.3), Leukon and Rhode enter the sacred space, having left Habrokomes behind in the house, since he is too disheartened to be searching for Anthia. I show here in Subset Bc what happens next:

Extract 5-Bc

5.12.3 Entering the space, they see Anthia and at first she was still unrecognized by them, but then they put everything back together again: the eros, the tears, the votive offerings, the names, the form [eidos]. 5.12.4 In this way, bit by bit, they begin to recognize her.
Xenophon of Ephesus 5.12.3–5.12.4 [12]
5§12. The disintegration of loss is followed up here by the reintegration of recovery, of finding the self again. And the key to this recovery is the metonymic sequencing of identifiable aspects of Anthia that have by now become all too familiar to anyone who has experienced her story: the eros, the tears, the votive offerings, the names, the beautiful looks [eidos].
5§13. Then, to continue (5.12.4), Leukon and Rhode identify themselves to Anthia and tell her that Habrokomes is safe and sound [= sōizesthai] (5.12.5). Hearing the news, Anthia experiences astonishment [ekplēxis] (5.12.6). Soon thereafter the two lovers are happily reunited in Rhodes, so that they may now sail to Ephesus together for la grande finale (5.13.1–5.15.1).
5§14. Now comes the third of the three passages that I am translating. This passage, which I label C, coincides with the ending of the novel—an ending that is really no ending at all:

Extract 5-C

5.15.2 The whole city (of Ephesus) had already found out in advance about their [= the lovers’] safe return [sōtēriā]. As soon as they [= the lovers] emerged [from the ship that pulled into the city harbor], right then and there they went to the sacred space [hieron] of Artemis and uttered many prayers [eukhesthai] and, having made sacrifice [thuein], they offered many votive offerings to the goddess, especially a piece of writing [graphē] that narrated everything they experienced and did. 5.15.3 Having done this, they went up to the city and arranged for lavish funerals for their parents, who had in the meantime died of old age and heartbreak. And they [= the lovers] for the rest of time lived their lives celebrating the festival [heortē].
Xenophon of Ephesus 5.15.2–5.15.3 [13]
5§15. The graphē ‘piece of writing’ that the two lovers dedicate as a votive offering inside the temple of Artemis can be seen as the novel itself. [14] And the novel thus becomes a synecdoche for the overall sacrifice that is the festival. So, how does the novel end? Did the two lovers live happily ever after? No, better than that: for these two lovers to live happily ever after is to celebrate a festival forever. I repeat the actual wording that we have just read: for the rest of time, they lived their lives celebrating the festival [heortē]. So the party, as conveyed by the word heortē ‘festival’, will go on forever.
5§16. Already at an early stage of their story, back when the couple had made love for the very first time, it was said that they felt as if their whole life had now turned into one big party, and the word that was used there as well for the idea of a party was heortē ‘festival’ (1.10.2). Back then, of course, the story of all the tribulations that the couple would have to endure in the future had not yet even begun, and the fallacy of their feelings of permanent happiness was in fact duly noted by the story itself. [15] But now, as the story reaches its conclusion, it is said that the heortē ‘festival’ can truly recommence, so that the partying will now go on forever. So the conclusion of the story is not really a conclusion. [16]
5§17. And the synecdoche for this eternal celebration at a heortē ‘festival’ is the interweaving of a garland made of anthē ‘blossoms’, signaled by the name of Anthiā, with a habrā or ‘luxuriant’ komē or ‘head of hair’, signaled by the name of Habrokomēs. Once the luxuriant hair is reunited with the blossoms of the garland, the celebration can go on forever, and everyone who takes part will be sure to feel utter delight.

Footnotes

[ back ] 1. 1.1.1 Ἦν ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἀνὴρ τῶν τὰ πρῶτα ἐκεῖ δυναμένων, Λυκομήδης ὄνομα. Τούτῳ τῷ Λυκομήδει ἐκ γυναικὸς ἐπιχωρίας Θεμιστοῦς γίνεται παῖς Ἁβροκόμης, μέγα δή τι χρῆμα [ὡραιότητι σώματος ὑπερβαλλούσῃ] κάλλους οὔτε ἐν Ἰωνίᾳ οὔτε ἐν ἄλλῃ γῇ πρότερον γενομένου. 1.1.2 Οὗτος ὁ Ἁβροκόμης ἀεὶ μὲν καὶ καθ’ ἡμέραν εἰς κάλλος ηὔξετο, συνήνθει δὲ αὐτῷ τοῖς τοῦ σώματος καλοῖς καὶ τὰ τῆς ψυχῆς ἀγαθά· παιδείαν τε γὰρ πᾶσαν ἐμελέτα καὶ μουσικὴν ποικίλην ἤσκει, θήρα δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ ἱππασία καὶ ὁπλομαχία συνήθη γυμνάσματα. 1.1.3 Ἦν δὲ περισπούδαστος ἅπασιν Ἐφεσίοις, ἅμα καὶ τοῖς τὴν ἄλλην Ἀσίαν οἰκοῦσι, καὶ μεγάλας εἶχον ἐν αὐτῷ τὰς ἐλπίδας ὅτι πολίτης ἔσοιτο διαφέρων. Προσεῖχον δὲ ὡς θεῷ τῷ μειρακίῳ· καί εἰσιν ἤδη τινὲς οἳ καὶ προσεκύνησαν ἰδόντες καὶ προσηύξαντο. 1.1.4 Ἐφρόνει δὲ τὸ μειράκιον ἐφ’ ἑαυτῷ μεγάλα καὶ ἠγάλλετο μὲν καὶ τοῖς τῆς ψυχῆς κατορθώμασι, πολὺ δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ κάλλει τοῦ σώματος· πάντων δὲ τῶν ἄλλων, ὅσα δὴ ἐλέγετο καλά, ὡς ἐλαττόνων κατεφρόνει καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτῷ, οὐ θέαμα, οὐκ ἄκουσμα ἄξιον Ἁβροκόμου κατεφαίνετο· 1.1.5 καὶ εἴ τινα ἢ παῖδα καλὸν ἀκούσαι ἢ παρθένον εὔμορφον, κατεγέλα τῶν λεγόντων ὡς οὐκ εἰδότων ὅτι εἷς καλὸς αὐτός. Ἔρωτά γε μὴν οὐδὲ ἐνόμιζεν εἶναι θεόν, ἀλλὰ πάντη ἐξέβαλεν ὡς οὐδὲν ἡγούμενος, λέγων ὡς οὐκ ἄν ποτέ [οὔ] τις ἐρασθείη οὐδὲ ὑποταγείη τῷ θεῷ μὴ θέλων· 1.1.6 εἰ δέ που ἱερὸν ἢ ἄγαλμα Ἔρωτος εἶδε, κατεγέλα, ἀπέφαινέ τε ἑαυτὸν Ἔρωτος παντὸς καλλίονα [καὶ κάλλει σώματος καὶ δυνάμει]. Καὶ εἶχεν οὕτως· ὅπου γὰρ Ἁβροκόμης ὀφθείη, οὔτε ἄγαλμα καλὸν κατεφαίνετο οὔτε εἰκὼν ἐπῃνεῖτο. 1.2.1 Μηνιᾷ πρὸς ταῦτα ὁ Ἔρως· φιλόνεικος γὰρ ὁ θεὸς καὶ ὑπερηφάνοις ἀπαραίτητος· ἐζήτει δὲ τέχνην κατὰ τοῦ μειρακίου· καὶ γὰρ καὶ τῷ θεῷ δυσάλωτος ἐφαίνετο. Ἐξοπλίσας οὖν ἑαυτὸν καὶ πᾶσαν δύναμιν ἐρωτικῶν φαρμάκων περιβαλόμενος ἐστράτευεν ἐφ' Ἁβροκόμην. 1.2.2 Ἤγετο δὲ τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος ἐπιχώριος ἑορτὴ ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερόν· στάδιοι δέ εἰσιν ἑπτά· ἔδει δὲ πομπεύειν πάσας τὰς ἐπιχωρίους παρθένους κεκοσμημένας πολυτελῶς καὶ τοὺς ἐφήβους, ὅσοι τὴν αὐτὴν ἡλικίαν εἶχον τῷ Ἁβροκόμῃ. Ἦν δὲ αὐτὸς περὶ τὰ ἓξ καὶ δέκα ἔτη καὶ τῶν ἐφήβων προσήπτετο καὶ ἐν τῇ πομπῇ τὰ πρῶτα ἐφέρετο. 1.2.3 Πολὺ δὲ πλῆθος ἐπὶ τὴν θέαν, πολὺ μὲν ἐγχώριον, πολὺ δὲ ξενικόν· καὶ γὰρ ἔθος ἦν ἐκείνῃ τῇ πανηγύρει καὶ νυμφίους ταῖς παρθένοις εὑρίσκεσθαι καὶ γυναῖκας τοῖς ἐφήβοις. 1.2.4 Παρῄεσαν δὲ κατὰ στίχον οἱ πομπεύοντες· πρῶτα μὲν τὰ ἱερὰ καὶ δᾷδες καὶ κανᾶ καὶ θυμιάματα· ἐπὶ τούτοις ἵπποι καὶ κύνες καὶ σκεύη κυνηγετικὰ ὧν <τὰ μὲν> πολεμικά, τὰ δὲ πλεῖστα εἰρηνικά. Ἑκάστη δὲ αὐτῶν οὕτως ὡς πρὸς ἐραστὴν ἐκεκόσμητο. 1.2.5 Ἦρχε δὲ τῆς τῶν παρθένων τάξεως Ἀνθία, θυγάτηρ Μεγαμήδους καὶ Εὐίππης, ἐγχωρίων. Ἦν δὲ τὸ κάλλος τῆς Ἀνθίας οἷον θαυμάσαι καὶ πολὺ τὰς ἄλλας ὑπερεβάλλετο παρθένους. Ἔτη μὲν τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἐγεγόνει, ἤνθει δὲ αὐτῆς τὸ σῶμα ἐπ’ εὐμορφίᾳ, καὶ ὁ τοῦ σχήματος κόσμος πολὺς εἰς ὥραν συνεβάλλετο· 1.2.6 κόμη ξανθή, ἡ πολλὴ καθειμένη, ὀλίγη πεπλεγμένη, πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀνέμων φορὰν κινουμένη· ὀφθαλμοὶ γοργοί, φαιδροὶ μὲν ὡς κόρης, φοβεροὶ δὲ ὡς σώφρονος· ἐσθὴς χιτὼν ἁλουργής, ζωστὸς εἰς γόνυ, μέχρι βραχιόνων καθειμένος, νεβρὶς περικειμένη, γωρυτὸς ἀνημμένος, τόξα [ὅπλα], ἄκοντες φερόμενοι, κύνες ἑπόμενοι. 1.2.7 Πολλάκις αὐτὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ τεμένους ἰδόντες Ἐφέσιοι προσεκύνησαν ὡς Ἄρτεμιν. Καὶ τότ’ οὖν ὀφθείσης ἀνεβόησε τὸ πλῆθος, καὶ ἦσαν ποικίλαι παρὰ τῶν θεωμένων φωναί, τῶν μὲν ὑπ’ ἐκπλήξεως τὴν θεὸν εἶναι λεγόντων, τῶν δὲ ἄλλην τινὰ ὑπὸ τῆς θεοῦ περιποιημένην· προσηύχοντο δὲ πάντες καὶ προσεκύνουν καὶ τοὺς γονεῖς αὐτῆς ἐμακάριζον· ἦν δὲ διαβόητος τοῖς θεωμένοις ἅπασιν Ἀνθία ἡ καλή. 1.2.8 Ὡς δὲ παρῆλθε τὸ τῶν παρθένων πλῆθος, οὐδεὶς ἄλλο τι ἢ Ἀνθίαν ἔλεγεν· ὡς δὲ Ἁβροκόμης μετὰ τῶν ἐφήβων ἐπέστη, τοὐνθένδε, καίτοι καλοῦ ὄντος τοῦ κατὰ τὰς παρθένους θεάματος, πάντες ἰδόντες Ἁβροκόμην ἐκείνων ἐπελάθοντο, ἔτρεψαν δὲ τὰς ὄψεις ἐπ’ αὐτὸν βοῶντες ὑπὸ τῆς θέας ἐκπεπληγμένοι, “καλὸς Ἁβροκόμης” λέγοντες, “καὶ οἷος οὐδὲ εἷς καλοῦ μίμημα θεοῦ.” 1.2.9 Ἤδη δέ τινες καὶ τοῦτο προσέθεσαν “οἷος ἂν γάμος γένοιτο Ἁβροκόμου καὶ Ἀνθίας.” Καὶ ταῦτα ἦν πρῶτα τῆς Ἔρωτος τέχνης μελετήματα. Ταχὺ μὲν δὴ εἰς ἑκατέρους ἡ περὶ ἀλλήλων ἦλθε δόξα· καὶ ἥ τε Ἀνθία τὸν Ἁβροκόμην ἐπεθύμει ἰδεῖν, καὶ ὁ τέως ἀνέραστος Ἁβροκόμης ἤθελεν Ἀνθίαν ἰδεῖν. 1.3.1 Ὡς οὖν ἐτετέλεστοπομπή ἦλθον δὲ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν θύσοντες ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος καὶ ὁ τῆς πομπῆς κόσμος ἐλέλυτο ᾔεσαν δὲ ἐς ταὐτὸν ἄνδρες καὶ γυναῖκες, ἔφηβοι καὶ παρθένοι, ἐνταῦθα ὁρῶσιν ἀλλήλους, καὶ ἁλίσκεται Ἀνθία ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἁβροκόμου, ἡττᾶται δὲ ὑπὸ Ἔρωτος Ἁβροκόμης καὶ ἐνεώρα τε συνεχέστερον τῇ κόρῃ καὶ ἀπαλλαγῆναι τῆς ὄψεως ἐθέλων οὐκ ἐδύνατο· κατεῖχε δὲ αὐτὸν ἐγκείμενος ὁ θεός. 1.3.2 Διέκειτο δὲ καὶ Ἀνθία πονήρως, ὅλοις μὲν καὶ ἀναπεπταμένοις τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς τὸ Ἁβροκόμου κάλλος εἰσρέον δεχομένη, ἤδη δὲ καὶ τῶν παρθένοις πρεπόντων καταφρονοῦσα· καὶ γὰρ ἐλάλησεν ἄν τι, ἵνα Ἁβροκόμης ἀκούσῃ, καὶ μέρη τοῦ σώματος ἐγύμνωσεν ἂν τὰ δυνατά, ἵνα Ἁβροκόμης ἴδῃ· ὁ δὲ αὑτὸν ἐδεδώκει πρὸς τὴν θέαν καὶ ἦν αἰχμάλωτος τοῦ θεοῦ. 1.3.3 Καὶ τότε μὲν θύσαντες ἀπηλλάττοντο λυπούμενοι καὶ τῷ τάχει τῆς ἀπαλλαγῆς μεμφόμενοι· <καὶ> ἀλλήλους βλέπειν ἐθέλοντες ἐπιστρεφόμενοι καὶ ὑφιστάμενοι πολλὰς προφάσεις διατριβῆς ηὕρισκον. 1.3.4 Ὡς δὲ ἦλθον ἑκάτερος παρ’ ἑαυτόν, ἔγνωσαν τότε οἷ κακῶν ἐγεγόνεισαν· καὶ ἔννοια ἐκείνους ὑπῄει τῆς ὄψεως θατέρου καὶ ὁ ἔρως ἐν αὐτοῖς ἀνεκαίετο καὶ τὸ περιττὸν τῆς ἡμέρας αὐξήσαντες τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν, ἐπειδὴ εἰς ὕπνον ᾔεσαν, ἐν ἀθρόῳ γίνονται τῷ δεινῷ, καὶ ὁ ἔρως ἐν ἑκατέροις ἦν ἀκατάσχετος. 1.4.1 Λαβὼν δὴ τὴν κόμην ὁ Ἁβροκόμης καὶ σπαράξας τὴν ἐσθῆτα “φεῦ μοι τῶν κακῶν” εἶπε, “τί πέπονθα δυστυχής;”
[ back ] 2. For the metaphor of the penumbra, I am grateful to David Kowarsky.
[ back ] 3. H24H 20§1.
[ back ] 4. On the further link between hōrā as seasonality and telos as perfection in ritual, see H24H 1§149, 13§15.
[ back ] 5. Smith 1994.
[ back ] 6. Reardon 1982:24 cites this title of a song sung by Frank Sinatra (first recorded August 15, 1955).
[ back ] 7. H24H 13§14, following HC 1§47.
[ back ] 8. I recommend the study of Bierl 2014 for an analysis of the overall plot of this novel. On plot and metonymy in the ancient Greek novel, see Bierl 2007, especially pp. 255–258. For more on the novel of Xenophon of Ephesus: Bierl 2012.
[ back ] 9. 5.11.2 ἑορτὴ δέ τις ἤγετο μεγαλοπρεπὴς δημοσίᾳ τῶν Ῥοδίων ἀγόντων τῷ Ἡλίῳ, καὶ πομπή τε καὶ θυσία καὶ πολιτῶν ἑορταζόντων πλῆθος. 5.11.3 Ἐνταῦθα παρῆσαν ὁ Λεύκων καὶ ἡ Ῥόδη, οὐ τοσοῦτον τῆς ἑορτῆς μεθέξοντες, ὅσον ἀναζητήσοντες εἴ τι περὶ Ἀνθίας πύθοιντο. Καὶ δὴ ἧκεν ὁ Ἱππόθοος εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, ἄγων τὴν Ἀνθίαν· ἡ δὲ ἀπιδοῦσα εἰς τὰ ἀναθήματα καὶ ἐν ἀναμνήσει τῶν πρότερον γενομένη 5.11.4 “ὦ τὰ πάντων” ἔφησεν “ἀνθρώπων ἐφορῶν Ἥλιε, μόνην ἐμὲ τὴν δυστυχῆ παρελθών, πρότερον μὲν ἐν Ῥόδῳ γενομένη εὐτυχῶς τέ σε προσεκύνουν καὶ θυσίας ἔθυον μετὰ Ἁβροκόμου καὶ εὐδαίμων τότε ἐνομιζόμην· νυνὶ δὲ δούλη μὲν ἀντ’ ἐλευθέρας, αἰχμάλωτος δὲ ἡ δυστυχὴς ἀντὶ τῆς μακαρίας, καὶ εἰς Ἔφεσον ἔρχομαι μόνη καὶ φανοῦμαι τοῖς οἰκείοις Ἁβροκόμην οὐκ ἔχουσα.” 5.11.5 Ταῦτα ἔλεγε καὶ πολλὰ ἐπεδάκρυε καὶ δεῖται τοῦ Ἱπποθόου ἐπιτρέψαι αὐτῇ τῆς κόμης ἀφελεῖν τῆς αὑτῆς καὶ ἀναθεῖναι τῷ Ἡλίῳ καὶ εὔξασθαί τι περὶ Ἁβροκόμου. 5.11.6 Συγχωρεῖ ὁ Ἱππόθοος· καὶ ἀποτεμοῦσα τῶν πλοκάμων ὅσα ἐδύνατο καὶ ἐπιτηδείου καιροῦ λαβομένη, πάντων ἀπηλλαγμένων, ἀνατίθησιν ἐπιγράψασα ΥΠΕΡ. ΤΟΥ. ΑΝΔΡΟΣ. ΑΒΡΟΚΟΜΟΥ. ΑΝΘΙΑ. ΤΗΝ. ΚΟΜΗΝ. ΤΩΙ. ΘΕΩΙ. ΑΝΕΘΗΚΕ. Ταῦτα ποιήσασα καὶ εὐξαμένη ἀπῄει μετὰ τοῦ Ἱπποθόου. 5.12.1 Ὁ δὲ Λεύκων καὶ ἡ Ῥόδη τέως ὄντες περὶ τὴν πομπὴν ἐφίστανται τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ βλέπουσι τὰ ἀναθήματα καὶ γνωρίζουσι τῶν δεσποτῶν τὰ ὀνόματα καὶ πρῶτον ἀσπάζονται τὴν κόμην καὶ πολλὰ κατωδύροντο οὕτως ὡς Ἀνθίαν βλέποντες, τελευταῖον δὲ περιῄεσαν, εἴ που κἀκείνην εὑρεῖν δυνήσονται.
[ back ] 10. H24H 5§39, 15§45.
[ back ] 11. προσκαθίσασα δὲ τοῖς ἀναθήμασιν ἐδάκρυέ τε καὶ ἀνέστενεν.
[ back ] 12. 5.12.3 ἐλθόντες δὲ ὁρῶσι τὴν Ἀνθίαν καὶ ἦν μὲν ἔτι ἄγνωστος αὐτοῖς, συμβάλλουσι δὲ πάντα, <τὸν> ἔρωτα, <τὰ> δάκρυα, τὰ ἀναθήματα, τὰ ὀνόματα, τὸ εἶδος. 5.12.4 Οὕτως κατὰ βραχὺ ἐγνώριζον αὐτήν·
[ back ] 13. 5.15.2 Προεπέπυστο δὲ τὴν σωτηρίαν αὐτῶν ἡ πόλις ἅπασα· ὡς δὲ ἐξέβησαν, εὐθὺς ὡς εἶχον ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερὸν τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος ᾔεσαν καὶ πολλὰ ηὔχοντο καὶ θύσαντες ἄλλα <τε> ἐνέθεσαν ἀναθήματα καὶ δὴ καὶ [τὴν] γραφὴν τῇ θεῷ ἀνέθεσαν πάντα ὅσα τε ἔπαθον καὶ ὅσα ἔδρασαν· 5.15.3 καὶ ταῦτα ποιήσαντες, ἀνελθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν τοῖς γονεῦσιν αὑτῶν τάφους κατεσκεύασαν μεγάλους (ἔτυχον γὰρ ὑπὸ γήρως καὶ ἀθυμίας προτεθνηκότες), καὶ αὐτοὶ τοῦ λοιποῦ διῆγον ἑορτὴν ἄγοντες τὸν μετ’ ἀλλήλων βίον.
[ back ] 14. There is an incisive commentary by Bierl 2014 3§4 on the idea that the book itself can be seen as a votive offering deposited inside a temple.
[ back ] 15. The psychology of the couple’s delusional optimism at this point in the narrative is analyzed by Bierl 2014 5§4.
[ back ] 16. On narrative strategies of bringing to a conclusion an open-ended story, as in this case, I cite the essay of Nimis 1999.