Millennial Mythmaking: Essays on the Power of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Films and Games

Overview

Contemporary myths, particularly science fiction and fantasy texts, can provide commentary on who we are as a culture, what we have created, and where we are going. These nine essays from a variety of disciplines expand upon the writings of Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey. Modern examples of myths from various sources such as Planet of the Apes, Wicked, Pan's Labyrinth,and Spirited Away; the Harry Potter series; and Second Life are analyzed as creative mythology and a representation of contemporary culture...

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Overview

Contemporary myths, particularly science fiction and fantasy texts, can provide commentary on who we are as a culture, what we have created, and where we are going. These nine essays from a variety of disciplines expand upon the writings of Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey. Modern examples of myths from various sources such as Planet of the Apes, Wicked, Pan's Labyrinth,and Spirited Away; the Harry Potter series; and Second Life are analyzed as creative mythology and a representation of contemporary culture and emerging technology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786445622
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/23/2009
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Perlich is a professor of communication studies at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. David Whitt is an associate professor of communication at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface: "There and Back Again..." 1

Contrasting Colors

1 Sorting Heroic Choices: Green and Red in the Harry Potter Septology Kirstin Cronn-Mills Jessica Samens 5

2 The Complexity of Evil in Modern Mythology: The Evolution of the Wicked Witch of the West Jason Edwards Brian Klosa 32

3 Polysemous Myth: Incongruity in Planet of the Apes Richard Besel ReneƩ Smith Besel 51

New Champions

4 The Hero with the Thousand-and-First Face: Miyazaki's Girl Quester in Spirited Away and Campbell's Monomyth Dee Geortz 67

5 The Odyssey of Madame Souza: A Heroine's Quest in The Triplets of Belleville David Whitt 83

6 Rethinking the Monomyth: Pan's Labyrinth and the Face of a New Hero(ine) John Perlich 100

No Boundaries

7 Actors and Their Mythic Heroes: From the Doctor to Captain Kirk Djoymi Baker 129

8 Running Free in Angelina Jolie's Virtual Body: The Myth of the New Frontier and Gender Liberaton in Second Life Ellen Gorsevski 146

9 So Where Do I Go from Here? Ghost in the Shell and Imagining Cyborg Mythology for the New Millennium Jay Scott Chipman 167

Epilogue: "Always in Motion Is the Future..." 193

About the Contributors 197

Index 199

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review - Millennial Mythmaking by John Perlich and David Whitt

    Perhaps because of a misunderstanding on my part I originally believed this book of essays would be a comfortably written, easily readable, and pedestrian collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy themes. (Think Stephen King's On Writing.)I'm not entirely sure where I got that impression but it turns out that Millennial Mythmaking is more of a college textbook or scholarly master thesis than a compilation of soft essays on the subject of SF&F myths. And while that isn't at all bad it really wasn't what I expected. Putting my obtuseness aside if you're the type that loves an in-depth analysis of contemporary Science Fiction and Fantasy then you'll definitely enjoy this book. However, through all the studied rationalizations, numerous footnotes and references, and in some cases, over-analytical rhetoric, much of the message of each essay will be lost to the casual reader. If you are a college-level student studying the myths of current fiction or enjoy the detailed and often subtle underpinnings of Science Fiction and Fantasy then I recommend this collection of essays for you.

    One slightly irritating theme I encountered was the constant homage and mention of Joseph Campbell. Every essay held an element dealing with or concerning Campbell or his work and almost every reference cited Campbell and Moyer's The Power of Myth. It seemed the deck was stacked with a pat hand. In other words, the editors may have only solicited essays relative to Joseph Campbell as the common denominator which isn't a bad thing overall but should have probably been mentioned up front if that was the intention. (I can't imagine this was coincidental.) On a positive note, and I'd like to end this review on an optimistic note if I may, the subject matter included more modern SF&F examples then many other works of this genre (i.e. Harry Potter, Wicked Witch of the West, Doctor Who, Star Trek, etc.) This gives Millennial Mythmaking an advantage over many other essay collections published in the past few years.

    3 stars out of 5

    The Alternative
    Southeast Wisconsin

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