Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy

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Brett M. Rogers, Benjamin Eldon Stevens
Oxford University Press, 2017 - Performing Arts - 367 pages
Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy is the first collection of essays in English focusing on how fantasy draws deeply on ancient Greek and Roman mythology, philosophy, literature, history, art, and cult practice. Presenting fifteen all-new essays intended for both scholars and other readers of fantasy, this volume explores many of the most significant examples of the modern genre-including the works of H. P. Lovecraft, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series, and more-in relation to important ancient texts such as Aeschylus' Oresteia, Aristotle's Poetics, Virgil's Aeneid, and Apuleius' The Golden Ass. These varied studies raise fascinating questions about genre, literary and artistic histories, and the suspension of disbelief required not only of readers of fantasy but also of students of antiquity. Ranging from harpies to hobbits, from Cyclopes to Cthulhu, and all manner of monster and myth in-between, this comparative study of Classics and fantasy reveals deep similarities between ancient and modern ways of imagining the world. Although antiquity and the present day differ in many ways, at its base, ancient literature resonates deeply with modern fantasy's image of worlds in flux and bodies in motion.
 

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Contents

 Fantasies of Antiquity
1
Classical Apparitions in PreModern Fantasy
23
False Medievalism and Other Ancient Fantasies
119
Children and Other Ancient Monsters
187
PostModern Fantasies of Antiquity
269
Works Cited
325
Index
357
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About the author (2017)


Brett M. Rogers is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of several essays on Greek epic and drama, as well as classical receptions in contemporary media (including film, television, and comics). He was also co-editor of Classical Traditions in Science Fiction (OUP 2015).

Benjamin Eldon Stevens is the author of Silence in Catullus (Wisconsin UP 2013) and numerous articles on classical receptions, Latin poetry, and linguistics and its history. With Brett M. Rogers, he co-edited Classical Traditions in Science Fiction (OUP 2015). Currently at Trinity University, he has also taught at Bryn Mawr College and Hollins University, and Bard College, including for the Bard Prison Initiative.

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