The Between Spaces: Myth and Structure in Modern Fantasy
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This dissertation explores themes of myth and the continued influence of mythology in the modern world through the opening chapters of a novel and an accompanying critical reflection. I examine the importance of location to myth, evoking a strong sense of place and highlighting the longstanding relationship between myth and place. The fading connection between modern life and ancient myth is emphasised through juxtaposition of industrial elements in the warehouse setting and the more natural aspects of the Welsh gods. I have alluded to issues of social and cultural imbalance and instability, both in the academic excerpts running through the narrative and in the plight of the gods themselves. I have also explored the importance of structure to narrative through ideas of fragmentation in the academic excerpts. Inspired by works such as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising sequence, I investigate the symbiotic relationship between gods and Man, myth and reality, suggesting that one cannot survive without the other. I do this through the perspective of my central character Lucie, an ordinary human, and the views of future academics. Similarly, the influence of liminal space evoked in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and tales from the Mabinogion is also in evidence, most prominently in the title itself, ‘The Between Spaces’. In my critical reflection The Between Spaces: Myth and Structure in Modern Fantasy, I explore ideas of adaptation and examine in detail the influence of myth on fantasy literature, including my own work. I reflect on where The Between Spaces fits within categories of fantasy, and critically examine the impact of the Mabinogion and critical studies of mythology on my work. I explore the structure of my narrative regarding the academic excerpts and the effect these have on the piece. I also draw comparisons between my own work and that of others, placing The Between Spaces within the context of other mythological adaptations.
BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing
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