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Title: The mythopoeic sandman : re-visioning Orpheus
Authors: Briffa, Christianne (2012)
Keywords: Graphic novels
Gaiman, Neil, 1960- . -- Criticism and interpretation
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Myths are the storied foundation of culture. Mythology is a powerful tool casting light on the shared unconscious through universal symbols, by means of which a culture's mythos builds story-lines which confront major issues. Mythic symbols are the very particles of imagination and creativity. Contemporary society might seem to lack any such vigorous mythology. This lack of reverence and awe causes a sense of meaninglessness and estrangement, a feeling which is shared by many authors. Postmodern works seem to crave living in a world which is still filled with mystery, wonder and archetypal grandeur. Mythic themes existed much before the coming of literature and yet, in our apparently rational world, people are still fascinated by the ancient peoples' need for 'magic'. The Sandman, albeit being a postmodern work, addresses the functions, nature and processes of mythology. Neil Gaiman, through his graphic novel, draws upon the world's heritage of mythic memes, particularly Orphic ones, and deconstructs the process of mythology. In this way not only does he construct his own myths but also addresses the changes wrought by postmodern theory upon writing practices. In my thesis I will look at how The Sandman functions as a metamythic postmodern work of literature by filtering my discussion through the Orphic myth. Through Gaiman's work the discussion will attempt to show how the dynamic between the mythic and postmodern can interact to make interpretative narratives work. Though the research will focus on The Sandman, the discussion can be applied to other comics and graphic novels that resonate with elemental mythic patterns. Also, through Gaiman's work, the thesis will illustrate how by relating the reader to a collective unconscious, the comic has an appeal to a wider audience. Gaiman's story will not just be portrayed as a 'story', but as a work with Orphic resonances that struggles to find the right myths to express our archetypal values through the emerging graphic novel.
Description: M.A. ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2012
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2012

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