Fantasy, Myth And The Measure Of Truth

Overview

This book shows how the fantasy tradition culminating in Pullman’s His Dark Materials inherits the Romantic quest to transpose spiritual and moral values, once the prerogrative of organized religion, into new myths. Wary both of escapist fantasy and "grand narratives," it explores how stories can generate a new vision.

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Overview

This book shows how the fantasy tradition culminating in Pullman’s His Dark Materials inherits the Romantic quest to transpose spiritual and moral values, once the prerogrative of organized religion, into new myths. Wary both of escapist fantasy and "grand narratives," it explores how stories can generate a new vision.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This timely study traces the connection between some outstanding literary fantasies written over the last two hundred years and their roots in the Romantic Movement. In doing so it also explores fascinating links with traditional Christian teaching stretching as far back as Augustinian Platonism. Erudite and approachable, it throws new light in particular on the works of C.S.Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien and Philip Pulllman."—Nicholas Tucker, formerly Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Community Studies, University of Sussex, UK

"In this fascinating study, William Gray mines the relationship between German Romanticism and British fantasy literature from the eighteenth century to the present. In exploring the rich Romantic vein running throughout the tales of major writers from Novalis and E.T.A Hoffmann to Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling, Gray exposes important continuities and discontinuities in a long tradition intent on grappling with the complex relation between fantasy and reality. Carefully researched and lucidly written, Fantasy, Myth and the Measure of Truth is a valuable addition to scholarship on fantasy, fairy tales, and the long reach of Romanticism."—Donald Haase, Professor of German, Wayne State University, USA; editor of Marvels and Tales: Jourbanal of Fairy Tale Studies and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales

"William Grays scholarly study examines the often neglected relationships between German Romanticism and contemporary fantasy by tracing the development from Novalis, E.T.A Hoffmann, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien to the contemporary work of Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling. This is a valuable addition to literary studies and the study of childrens literature, demonstrating the wider contribution of fantasy writers to philosophical and literary debates."—Jean Webb, Professor of International Childrens Literature and Director of the International Centre for Research in Childrens Literature, Literacy and Creativity, University of Worcester, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230005051
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM GRAY is Reader in Literary History and Hermeneutics at the University of Chichester, UK. He studied literature, philosophy and theology at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh and Princeton, and has published widely in these areas, including Death and Fantasy and books on C.S. Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Prelude: Pullman's 'High Argument'
German Roots and Mangelwurzels
George MacDonald's Marvellous Medicine
J.R.R. Tolkien and the Love of Faery
C.S. Lewis: Reality and the Radiance of Myth
Measuring Truth: Lyra's Story
Postscript: Harry Potter, Hogwarts and All
Index

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