Warrior Lore by Ian Cumpstey

Old Norse heroism seems to be in vogue these days, given the popularity of Thor and the film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, which is steeped in Norse mythology. Furthermore, the classic literature of the North has been gaining academic readerships ever since the publication of the Penguin collection The Sagas of Icelanders in …

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The Chalchiuhite Dragon by Kenneth Morris

Perusing the books on sale at MythCon 45 at Wheaton College in Norton, MA this summer, I stumbled across a most peculiar historical fantasy novel. It was the long-lost masterpiece of Kenneth Morris, The Chalchiuhite Dragon. Well-known, if not actually famous, for his modern Celtic fantasies such as The Fates of the Princes of Dyfed …

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Greenmantle by Charles de Lint

What happens when you combine Robert Graves's The White Goddess with Martin Scorsese's mafia flick Goodfellas? I'm not sure, but it wouldn't be far from Charles de Lint's 1988 'mythic fiction' novel Greenmantle. Called the father of urban fantasy, Charles de Lint is the author of dozens of novels that combine fantasy with mainstream fiction. …

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Folklore and Graffiti: A (Potential) Study of Spatial Tactics and Urban Fantasy (Part II)

When we left off last week, I was trying to prove that graffiti interrupts the rational order of the city, as a spatial tactic, and therefore can be compared to urban fantasy, inasmuch as it too subverts conventional "consensus reality." I quoted Bramley Dapple in Charles de Lint's short story “Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair,”  who says, …

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MythCon 45 Day 4: Faith, Myths, and Archetypes

The first of the two legendary panels that happened on Sunday--just before my own presentation, which was the last before the banquet and awards ceremony--was entitled "Fantasy and Faith." Chip Crane moderated, and Carl Hostetter, Sorina Higgins, and Lynn Maudlin were discussing the Inklings. What is the place of faith in the fantasy genre? What …

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MythCon 45 Day 3: Postmodernity at MythCon

Sunday morning at MythCon, and I took it easy, only getting to "Harry Potter as Dystopian Literature" for 10:00. Kris Swank framed Harry Potter not only in terms of the latest dystopian craze in YA fiction (Divergent, The Hunger Games), but also with the dystopian tradition of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. The Dolores Umbridge-corrupted …

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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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Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel — PowerPoint Presentation

Use the following  links to download the PowerPoint for my presentation "Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay's Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel" at MythCon 2014. I presented at 5:00 pm Sunday, August 1oth at Wheaton College, Norton, MA. Fantasies of History Presentation PDF Fantasies of History Presentation PPT Fantasies of History Presentation PPSX Fantasies …

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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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