Walter Pater: Marius the Epicurean

(5478 words)

Marius the Epicurean: His Sensations and Ideas is a novel-length imaginary portrait of a boy growing to young manhood in Italy in the second century, told from the view point of an erudite, humane, and psychologically astute nineteenth-century scholar and artist in prose very much like Walter Pater himself. The imaginary portrait is a literary genre that Pater developed. In all but one of his twelve imaginary portraits, most of them of short-story length, the character portrayed is a misfit in his environment, or, when his childhood is described, becomes a misfit after early childhood. The one exception is “The Child in the House”, in which the character is portrayed only in childhood. The environment which acts …

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Inman, Billie Andrew. "Marius the Epicurean". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 July 2006
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]