Echoes of Ancient Archetypes in Comic Book Characters
Author: Christopher Wood
Category: Social Science
Epic battles, hideous monsters and a host of petty gods--the world of Classical mythology continues to fascinate and inspire. Heroes like Herakles, Achilles and Perseus have influenced Western art and literature for centuries, and today are reinvented in the modern superhero. What does Iron Man have to do with the Homeric hero Odysseus? How does the African warrior Memnon compare with Marvel's Black Panther? Do DC's Wonder Woman and Xena the Warrior Princess reflect the tradition of Amazon women such as Penthesileia? How does the modern superhero's journey echo that of the epic warrior? With fresh insight into ancient Greek texts and historical art, this book examines modern superhero archetypes and iconography in comics and film as the crystallization of the hero's journey in the modern imagination.
Goliath as Gentle Giant cuts through biblical biases and post-biblical images and considers sensitive and more nuanced portrayals of the giant in popular media, offering revisionist retellings of Goliath that challenge readers to humanize the "other."
Profiling 30 mask makers from around the world, this book explores the motivations and challenges of contemporary artists working to bring the traditional methods and conventions of mask making to an evolving global theatre. There are 181 photographs—including two sections of color plates—which illustrate how the mythic iconography of masks is used in the modern fields of dance, mime, theatre and storytelling. Topics include the ways in which mask artists and performers maintain a sense of universality despite varying local customs; the legacies of Italian mask makers Amleto and Donato Sartori and of the California–based Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre; and the ways in which traditional approaches in mask artistry continue to influence commercial mask performance ventures in film, on Broadway, and in touring companies.
The Search for Standards in Popular Writing : a Question of Quality #2
Author: Louis Filler
Publisher: Popular Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This collection of essays probes the values in a variety of authors who have had in common the fact of popularity and erstwhile reputation. Why were they esteemed? Who esteemed them? And what has become of their reputations, to readers, to the critic himself? No writer here has been asked to justify the work of his subject, and reports and conclusions about this wide variety of creative writers vary, sometimes emphasizing what the critic believes to be enduring qualities in the subject, in several cases finding limitations in what that writer has to offer us today.
We are not just isolated individuals. Instead, our lives are woven together with others. We have solidarity with other people—the choices one person makes affects the lives of others, for good and for bad. Because much of the pain we endure in life is in the context of relationships, this truth often strikes us as unfair. Why should a child suffer because of the choices of his parents? And on a grander scale, why do we all suffer the curse of Adam’s sin? Why should anyone be judged for someone else’s sin? In Bound Together, Chris Brauns unpacks the truth that we are bound to one another and to the whole of creation. He calls this, “the principle of the rope.” Grasping this foundational principle sheds new light on marriage, the dynamics of family relationships, and the reason why everyone lives with the consequences of the sins that others commit. Brauns shows how the principle of the rope is both bad news and good news, revealing a depth to the message of the gospel that many of us have never seen before.
In this creative and engaging reading, Richard Kuhns explores the ways in which Decameron'ssexual themes lead into philosophical inquiry, moral argument, and aesthetic and literary criticism. As he reveals the stories' many philosophical insights and literary pleasures, Kuhns also examines Decameronin the context of the nature of storytelling, its relationship to other classic works of literature, and the culture of trecento Italy. Stories and storytelling are to be interpreted in terms of a wider cultural context that includes masks, metamorphosis, mythic themes, and character analysis, all of which Boccaccio explores with wit and subtlety. As a storyteller, Boccaccio represents himself as literary pimp, conceiving the relationship between storyteller and audience in sexual terms within a tradition that goes back as far as Socrates' conversations with the young Athenians. As a whole, Boccaccio's great collection of stories creates a trenchant criticism of the ideas that dominated his social and cultural world. Addressed as it is to women who were denied opportunities for education, the author's stories create a university of wise and culturally observant texts. He teaches that comic, religious, sexual, and artistic themes can be seen to function as metaphors for hidden and often dangerous unorthodox thoughts. Kuhns suggests that Decameronis one of the first self-conscious creations of what we today call "a total work of art." Throughout the stories, Boccaccio creates a detailed picture of the Florentine trecento cultural world. Giotto, Buffalmacco, and other great painters of Boccaccio's time appear in the stories. Their works and the paintings that surround the characters as they prepare to leave the plague-ridden city, with their representations of Dante, Aquinas, and other thinkers, are essential to understanding the ways the stories work with other works of art and illuminate and enlarge interpretations of Boccaccio's book.