This study provides a fascinating look at the various ways in which 20th-century fantasy writers have used Welsh Celtic mythology and folklore in their work. Following the theories formulated by such scholars as John Vickery and Joseph Campbell, the use of Celtic materials by each of the authors is discussed from a mythology-in-literature perspective. Sullivan presents an extensive accounting of the Celtic material used and explores the primary ways in which the authors incorporate it into their fiction, both structurally and thematically. Sullivan identifies and analyzes the nature and extent of Welsh Celtic influence on subsequent cultures and their literatures, and he considers some of the previous attempts to evaluate this influence. The appendixes provide valuable background materials, including critical commentary on the Welsh collection of myths, legends, folktales, and beliefs that are of major importance in the work of the six authors represented. Also included are extensive bibliographies of primary and secondary sources. Illuminating reading for students and scholars of mythology, modern fantasy, and children's literature, this book sheds new light on the Welsh influence in literature and opens paths for further research.
Runner-up of the Katherine Briggs Folklore Award 2017 Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth & Fantasy Studies 2019 This book examines the creative uses of “Celtic” myth in contemporary fantasy written for children or young adults from the 1960s to the 2000s. Its scope ranges from classic children’s fantasies such as Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain and Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, to some of the most recent, award-winning fantasy authors of the last decade, such as Kate Thompson (The New Policeman) and Catherine Fisher (Darkhenge). The book focuses on the ways these fantasy works have appropriated and adapted Irish and Welsh medieval literature in order to highlight different perceptions of “Celticity.” The term “Celtic” itself is interrogated in light of recent debates in Celtic studies, in order to explore a fictional representation of a national past that is often romanticized and political.
Examining how we interpret Welshness today, this volume brings together fourteen essays covering a full range of representations of Welsh mythology, folklore, and ritual in popular culture. Topics covered include the twentieth-century fantasy fiction of Evangeline Walton, the Welsh presence in the films of Walt Disney, Welshness in folk music, video games, and postmodern literature. Together, these interdisciplinary essays explore the ways that Welsh motifs have proliferated in this age of cultural cross-pollination, spreading worldwide the myths of one small British nation.
This book examines how contemporary fantasy literature offers critical insights into western society and culture by drawing on the ancient myths of Wales. These books emphasise the need to have a set of social and personal values in order to be free from a sense of dislocation and alienation in a highly technologised society and in order to satisfy the sense of 'hiraeth' or longing for a place where one truly belongs.
This book examines the creative uses of “Celtic” myth in contemporary fantasy written for children or young adults from the 1960s to the 2000s. Its scope ranges from classic children’s fantasies such as Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain and Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, to some of the most recent, award-winning fantasy authors of the last decade, such as Kate Thompson (The New Policeman) and Catherine Fisher (Darkhenge). The book focuses on the ways these fantasy works have appropriated and adapted Irish and Welsh medieval literature in order to highlight different perceptions of “Celticity.” The term “Celtic” itself is interrogated in light of recent debates in Celtic studies, in order to explore a fictional representation of a national past that is often romanticized and political.
Robert Holdstock was a prolific writer whose oeuvre included horror, fantasy, mystery and the novelization of films, often published under pseudonyms. These twelve critical essays explore Holdstock’s varied output by displaying his works against the backdrop of folk and fairy tales, dissecting their spatiotemporal order, and examining them as psychic fantasies of our unconscious life or as exempla of the sublime. The individual novels of the Mythago Wood sequence are explored, as is Holdstock’s early science fiction and the Merlin Codex series.
“The study of children’s literature is not just about children and the books said to be for them; it is also about the societies and cultures from which the literature comes, and it is about the assumptions and ideas we hold about children and childhood. For adults, reading children’s literature is ultimately both an act of nostalgia and of self-examination. When we consider children’s literature, we must include ourselves in the equation: What kinds of readers are we? How do we relate to books and stories? To what degree should we impose our experience upon others? Reading children’s literature actively can lead to all kinds of remarkable (and sometimes unsettling) revelations about ourselves and our society.” — from the Introduction Considering Children’s Literature is a collection of previously published essays on a variety of topics that inform the study of children’s literature. Exploring issues such as censorship, the canon, the meanings of fairy tales, and the adaptation of children’s literature into film, the essays in this anthology are as diverse as they are illuminating. Along with authors like Natalie Babbitt and Margaret Mahy, teachers, scholars, and publishers of children’s books are also contributors. Accessible and comprehensive, this book will appeal to anyone interested in children’s literature.
The purpose of this collection, which was first published in 1996, is to provide both an overview of the major critical approaches to the Four Branches of the Mabinogi and a selection of the best essays dealing with them. The essays examine the origins of the Mabinogion, comparative analyses, and structural and thematic interpretations. This book is ideal for students of literature and Medieval studies.
A comprehensive three-volume reference work offers six hundred entries, with the first two volumes covering themes and the third volume exploring two hundred classic works in literature, television, and film.