The Middle Kingdom (c.1940-1640 BC) was a golden age of Ancient Egyptian writing. This study radically reassesses Middle Kingdom poems' cultural role, drawing on recent studies of the individual texts, some by the author, and on general developments in literary criticism to argue that they were entertainments that voiced potentially dissident views while also being integral to elite culture. The book surveys the social and ideological context of literature and proposes readings of the main tales, discourses, and teachings. An appendix surveys the entire range of surviving texts.
Table of Contents
I: Approaches - The Study of Middle Kingdom 'Literature' - General Considerations: Definitions, Genre, Interpretation - II: Context and Intertext - Texts and Intertext - The Social Context - Literature and Culture - Literary Form - Cultural Themes of Literature - III: Readings - Tales - Discourses and Dialogues - Teachings - Reading the Poems - Appendix 1 Survey of the Middle Kingdom Literary Corpus - Appendix 2 Kemit
Richard Parkinson is Assistant Keeper in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum.