MythCon 45 Day 1: Prose, Genre, and Tolkien’s Genius

. This is a series documenting my intellectual journey at MythCon 45 at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA (8-11 August 2014). Although I will attempt to summarize the arguments made by presenters, the series does not replace the presenters' scholarship, but will represent my attitudes towards the topics. Having arrived early the Thursday, I had …

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Ember Nights in Guy Gavriel Kay and John Crowley

In Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana and John Crowley's Love and Sleep,part of his Aegypt sequence, characters born with cauls are summoned in the middle of the night to walk among the dead. Kay calls these individuals Night Walkers. Their story stretches back to real-world superstitions about children born with a membrane around their heads. This …

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Taniwha Highway: the Phenomenon of Modern Day Dragons

Over a decade ago, you might have stumbled across the following headline in the New Zealand Herald: "Transit and the Taniwha" by James Corbett. It discusses--with that characteristic Kiwi sense of dry humour--how a dragon came to be at the center of a Māori protest over the construction of a highway. The BBC said, "Construction …

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