The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien

The Mythopoeic Code of Tolkien

Author: Jyrki Korpua

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476672885

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 202

View: 540

J. R. R. Tolkien is arguably the most influential fantasy writer of all time--his world building and epic mythology have changed Western audiences' imaginations and the entire fantasy genre. This book is the first wide-ranging Christian Platonic reading on Tolkien's fiction. This analysis, written for scholars and general Tolkien enthusiasts alike, discusses how his fiction is constructed on levels of language, myth and textuality that have a background in the Greek philosopher Plato's texts and early Christian philosophy influenced by Plato. It discusses the concepts of ideal and real, creation and existence, and fall and struggle as central elements of Tolkien's fiction, focusing on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. Reading Tolkien's fiction as a depiction of ideal and real, from the vision of creation to the process of realization, illuminates a part of Tolkien's aesthetics and mythology that previous studies have overlooked.

English Magic and Imperial Madness

English Magic and Imperial Madness

Author: Peter D. Mathews

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476644943

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 178

View: 755

Regency England was a pivotal time of political uncertainty, with a changing monarchy, the Napoleonic Wars, and a population explosion in London. In Susanna Clarke's fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the era is also witness to the unexpected return of magic. Locating the consequences of this eruption of magical unreason within the context of England's imperial history, this study examines Merlin and his legacy, the roles of magicians throughout history, the mythology of disenchantment, the racism at work in the character of Stephen Black, the meaning behind the fantasy of magic's return, and the Englishness of English magic itself. Looking at the larger historical context of magic and its links to colonialism, the book offers both a fuller understanding of the ethical visions underlying Clarke's groundbreaking novel of madness intertwined with magic, while challenging readers to rethink connections among national identity, rationality, and power.

Speculative Modernism

Speculative Modernism

Author: William Gillard

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476683331

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 253

View: 456

Speculative modernists--that is, British and American writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror during the late 19th and early 20th centuries--successfully grappled with the same forces that would drive their better-known literary counterparts to existential despair. Building on the ideas of the 19th-century Gothic and utopian movements, these speculative writers anticipated literary Modernism and blazed alternative literary trails in science, religion, ecology and sociology. Such authors as H.G. Wells and H.P. Lovecraft gained widespread recognition--budding from them, other speculative authors published fascinating tales of individuals trapped in dystopias, of anti-society attitudes, post-apocalyptic worlds and the rapidly expanding knowledge of the limitless universe. This book documents the Gothic and utopian roots of speculative fiction and explores how these authors played a crucial role in shaping the culture of the new century with their darker, more evolved themes.

Discovering Dune

Discovering Dune

Author: Dominic J. Nardi

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476646725

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 285

View: 976

Frank Herbert's Dune is one of the most well-known science fiction novels of all time, and it is often revered alongside time-honored classics like The Lord of the Rings. Unlike Tolkien's work, the Dune series has received remarkably little academic attention. This collection includes fourteen new essays from various academic disciplines--including philosophy, political science, disability studies, Islamic theology, environmental studies, and Byzantine history--that examine all six of Herbert's Dune books. As a compendium, it asserts that a multidisciplinary approach to the texts can lead to fresh discoveries. Also included in this collection are an introduction by Tim O'Reilly, who authored one of the first critical appraisals of Herbert's writings in 1981, and a comprehensive bibliography of essential primary and secondary sources.

Magic Words, Magic Worlds

Magic Words, Magic Worlds

Author: Matthew Oliver

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476687131

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 284

View: 917

While all fiction uses words to construct models of the world for readers, nowhere is this more obvious than in fantasy fiction. Epic fantasy novels create elaborate secondary worlds entirely out of language, yet the writing style used to construct those worlds has rarely been studied in depth. This book builds the foundations for a study of style in epic fantasy. Close readings of selected novels by such writers as Steven Erikson, Ursula Le Guin, N. K. Jemisin and Brandon Sanderson offer insights into the significant implications of fantasy's use of syntax, perspective, paratexts, frame narratives and more. Re-examining critical assumptions about the reading experience of epic fantasy, this work explores the genre's reputation for flowery, archaic language and its ability to create a sense of wonder. Ultimately, it argues that epic fantasy shapes the way people think, examining how literary representation and style influence perception.

In Frankenstein's Wake

In Frankenstein's Wake

Author: Alison Bedford

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476641539

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 205

View: 275

Just over 200 years ago on a stormy night, a young woman conceived of what would become one of the most iconic images of science gone wrong, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. For a long period, Mary Shelley languished in the shadow of her luminary husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was rescued from obscurity by the feminist scholars of the 1970s and 1980s. This book offers a new perspective on Shelley and on science fiction, arguing that she both established a new discursive space for moral thinking and laid the groundwork for the genre of science fiction. Adopting a contextual biographical approach and undertaking a close reading of the 1818 and 1831 editions of the text give readers insight into how this story synthesizes many of the concerns about new science prevalent in Shelley's time. Using Michel Foucault's concept of discourse, the present work argues that Shelley should be not only credited with the foundation of a genre but recognized as a figure who created a new cultural space for readers to explore their fears and negotiate the moral landscape of new science.

The Mirror Crack'd

The Mirror Crack'd

Author: Lynn Forest-Hill

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Pub

ISBN: STANFORD:36105131748183

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 262

View: 847

CHAPTERS: 1.- From Beowulf to the Balrogs: The Roots of Fantastic Horror in The Lord of the Rings. 2.- Fear and Horror: Monsters in Tolkien and Beowulf. 3.- Of Spiders and (the Medieval Aesthetics of) Light: Hope and Action in the Horrors of Shelob’s Lair. 4.- Shelob’s and her Kin: The Evolution of Tolkien’s Spiders. 5.- The Shadow beyond the Firelight: Pre-Christian Archetypes and Imagery Meet Christian Theology in Tolkien’s Treatment of Evil and Horror . 6.- The Cry in the Wind and the Shadow on the Moon: Liminality and the Construct of Horror in The Lord of the Rings. 7.- Barrows, Wights, and Ordinary People: The Unquiet Dead in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings . 8.- Horror and Anguish: The Slaying of Glaurung and Medieval Dragon Lore. 9.- Shadow and Flame: Myth, Monsters and Mother Nature in Middle-earth. 10.- Evil Reputations: Images of Wolves in Tolkien’s Fiction.

One Earth, One People

One Earth, One People

Author: Marek Oziewicz

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: UOM:39015073884440

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 276

View: 320

"Presents the genre from a holistic perspective, arguing that this subgenre of fantasy literature is misunderstood as result of decades of incomplete and reductionist literary studies. Asserts mythopoeic fantasy is the most complete literary expression of a worldview based on the existence of supernatural powers and could transform social consciousness with renewed emphasis on anticipating the future"--Provided by publisher.