Novel vs. Epic

I’ve been thinking recently about the difference between the novel and the epic, particularly since I have been doing much with the ancient Greeks and Virgil.

If you are inclined to participate in this discussion, what do you think are the differences between C. S. Lewis’ After Ten Years (not a full novel, but an excerpt of one) and Homer and Virgil? All these treat the same time period and characters, but how are they different?

Preserving the Veil

Barbarism and Philistinism cannot see that knowledge of material reality is a knowledge of death. The desire to get even closer to the source of physical sensation—this is the  downward pull which puts an end to ideational life. No education is worthy of the name which fails to make the point that the world is best understood from a certain distance or that the most elementary understanding requires a degree of abstraction. To insist on less is to merge ourselves with the exterior reality or to capitulate to the endless induction of empiricism. –Ideas Have Consequences, 27