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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Fantasy, Narrative, and The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci

Alex Fratarcangeli, the protagonist of Nino Ricci's The Origin of Species, works on a Ph.D. proposal that could change literary academics: he chooses to analyze literary texts in the light of Darwinism. As its title suggests, the novel is about Alex's relationship to the life of Darwin and his seminal The Origin of Species. On …

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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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Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever: Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson

Beware! Leper unclean! shout the crowds. Don't touch me! responds Thomas Covenant, the antihero of Stephen R. Donaldson's memorable epic fantasy trilogy. In this exchange, which Convenant repeats in his mind like a mantra for his sanity, Donaldson summarizes the conflict of his protagonist. Despite being unlikeable, Covenant tends to garner your empathy. He's a …

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