Classical and Contemporary Mythic Identities: Construction of the Literary Imagination

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This volume develops recent critical work on myth, as well as alluding to seminal if superseded works in the field. The collection explores ways in which this dynamic mythmaking process has taken place — and continues to take place — in contemporary art and thought.


“The contributors to this volume exhibit a flair for demonstrating how our most recurrent narratives, while frequently being used to vindicate a given sense of collective identity, cannot help but provide a glimpse of another way of inhabiting the earth. . . .[this] collection of essays will inspire other scholars to explore this territory with the same spirit of informed enquiry.” – Dr. Laurence Coupe, Manchester Metropolitan University

“Walking into the cave of Lascaux, passing torchlight would shimmer to cast the run of beasts in flight into a living, cinematic tableau. These prehistoric cave paintings were shifting everyday hunting scenes toward the realm of myth. [This work] suggests, perhaps appropriately, that 21st century audiences like our prehistoric ancestors are likely to find our myths represented outside of the confines of a book. While the book’s chapters are strong at delineating literary and scholarly precedent, significant focus is placed on visual representation be it in film, painting, TV or performance mode – and indeed murals, paintings cast onto walls.” – Prof. Martin Goodman, University of Hull

Table of Contents

Foreword Laurence Coupe
Introduction Amina Alyal and Paul Hardwick
1. David W. Marshall, ‘Here Be Dragons: The Persistence of Dragon Myths in the Creation Debate’
2. John Poulter, ‘Ireland’s Hero? Enlisting Cú Chulain in the Construction of Conflicting Myths of Nation in Ireland’
3. Paul Hardwick, ‘Shouting the Darkness: Tregeagle and the Cornwall of the Mind’
4. Maggie Roux, ‘Confronting Ismene: An Exploration of Transformational Archetypal Energies through the Myths of the Ancestors in Pan’s Labyrinth, Once Were Warriors, and Whale Rider
5. Amanda Potter, ‘Unpacking Pandora’s Box: The Redemption of an Ancient Anti-heroine for a Twenty-first Century Audience in US TV Series Xena Warrior Princess and Charmed
6. Susan J. Wolfe and Roberta N. Rude, ‘Galatea as Transformation, Commodity and Simulacrum in Contemporary Anglophone Films’
7. Cliff Forshaw, ‘“Of shapes transformed to bodies strange”: Metamorphic Forms and Personae in Poems from Page to Performance’
8. Scott Freer, ‘The Hobo as Mythic Hero in Bob Dylan’s Lyrics’
10. Benjamin Earl, ‘Casino Royale and the Ian Fleming Myth: Naturalising Authorship and Originality as Cultural Value’
11. Tim Leadbeater, World within a World: The Conspiracy Theory and Monomyth

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