Reflections on “A True Story” by Lucian of Samosata

Link to “A True Story” by Lucian of Samosata

It would be only too easy for a contemporary citizen to idly pick up “A True Story” and judge it a trivial fantasy of no consequence. Lucian’s mock epic style invites criticism from a reader honed by YouTube, iTunes, and Facebook. Yet, Lucian warns us at the very beginning of his work that he wants to provide more than just “pure amusement based on wit and humour”, and that his work also “boasts a little food for thought that the Muses would not altogether spurn (p. 249).” As all truly great literature does, “A True Story” delves into the mysteries of the human condition, and forces us, as readers, to think about who we are as human beings, to test theories, to alter our own perspectives about our lives, society, and culture. Should “we just resign ourselves to an exterior will and give up our personal responsibility entirely?”

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