In Sardonic Smile, Donald Lateiner examines every major variety of Homeric nonverbal behavior, especially those found in the Odyssey. Noting differences from modern gestures and attending to variation that results from gender, age, and status, Lateiner explores the "silent language" and "what goes without saying" among the heroes Odysseus, Telemakhos, and Penelope--but also the savage Kyklops, the suitors, and the servants. No previous work has thoroughly analyzed nonverbal behavior in Homeric epic. Gesture and posture, conscious and unconscious manipulation of space and time, and involuntary "leakage," such as twitching and shivering, can intensify and underline--or contradict and ironize--the speech of characters and hexameter narrative.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 1995.
"Sardonic Smile opens up new dimensions for the study of ancient literature; one may predict that analysis of the nonverbal 'parallel texts' will become increasingly common as a result of the important study." --Walter Donlan, Classical Journal
Donald Lateiner is John R. Wright Professor of Greek and Humanities, Ohio Wesleyan University. He is the author of The Historical Method of Herodotus and has written and lectured widely on nonverbal behavior in antiquity.