Ancient Greek Myth in World Fiction since 1989

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-06-02
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Ancient Greek Myth in World Fiction since 1989 explores the diverse ways that contemporary world fiction has engaged with ancient Greek myth. Whether as a framing device, or a filter, or via resonances and parallels, Greek myth has proven fruitful for many writers of fiction since the end of the Cold War. This volume examines the varied ways that writers from around the world have turned to classical antiquity to articulate their own contemporary concerns.

Featuring contributions by an international group of scholars from a number of disciplines, the volume offers a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach to contemporary literature from around the world. Analysing a range of significant authors and works, not usually brought together in one place, the book introduces readers to some less-familiar fiction, while demonstrating the central place that classical literature can claim in the global literary curriculum of the third millennium. The modern fiction covered is as varied as the acclaimed North American television series The Wire, contemporary Arab fiction, the Japanese novels of Haruki Murakami and the works of New Zealand's foremost Maori writer, Witi Ihimaera.

Author Biography

Edith Hall is Professor of Classics at King's College London, and Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama in Oxford, UK. She has published more than twenty books on ancient Greek culture and its reception including Inventing the Barbarian (1989), The Theatrical Cast of Athens (2006), The Return of Ulysses (2008), Greek Tragedy (2010) and Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris (2013).

Justine McConnell is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford, UK. She is the author of Black Odysseys: The Homeric Odyssey in the African Diaspora since 1939 (2013), and co-editor of Ancient Slavery and Abolition: from Hobbes to Hollywood (2011) and The Oxford Handbook of Greek Drama in the Americas (2015).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Introduction. Justine McConnell and Edith Hall (University of Oxford, UK and King's College, London, UK)
2. Translating Myths, Translating Fictions. Lorna Hardwick (Open University, UK)
3. It's All in the Game: Violence, Greek Myth and The Wire: Adam Ganz (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)
4. War, Religion and Tragedy: The Revolt of the Muckers in Assis Brasil's Videiras de Cristal. Sofia Frade (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
5. Myth and Docufiction in Littell's Les Bienveillantes. Edith Hall (King's College London, UK)
6. Coming Home, Getting Lost and Not Mentioning the War: Odysseys in Bernhard Schlink's Die Heimkehr. Sebastian Matzner (University of Oxford, UK)
Organic but Inexplicit:
7. The Minotaur Myth on the Internet: Viktor Pelevin's Helmet of Horror. Anna Ljunggren (University of Stockholm, Slaviska Institutionen, Sweden)
8. The Dionysian in the Novels of Percival Everett. Paul Monaghan (Independent Scholar)
Thoroughgoing engagement:
9. Greek Myth and Mythmaking in Witi Imihaera's The Matriarch and The Dream Swimmer. Simon Perris (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
10. Philhellenic Imperialism and the Invention of the Classical Past: 21st century Re-imaginings of Odysseus in the Greek War for Independence. Efrossini Spentzou (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)
Non-monotheistic Intellectual Space:
11. Greek Myths in Contemporary Arab Political Fiction. Ferial Ghazoul (American University, Cairo, Egypt)
12. Echoes of Ancient Greek Myths in Murakami Haruki's Novels and in other works of Contemporary Japanese Literature. Giorgio Amitrano (Italian Cultural Institute, Tokyo, Japan)
Younger Generation
13. Young Female Heroes Transplanted from Sophocles to the Twenty-first Century. Helen Eastman (King's College London, UK)
14. Generation Telemachus: Searching for a Sense of Self in Ethiopia and Illinois, in Dinaw Mengestu's How to Read the Air. Justine McConnell (University of Oxford, UK)
Reception of receptions:
15. Order and Progress, or Brazil in Ruins? Greek Mythology and Monumental Fiction, or the Fiction of the Monument in Brazilian Literature after the Military Dictatorship. Patrice Rankine (Hope College, USA)
16. Writing a new Irish Odyssey: Theresa Kishkan's Man in a Distant Field. Fiona Macintosh (University of Oxford, UK)

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