Wed. 4-5:30 p.m. Cont.
CRITICAL APPROACHES TO SCIENCE FICTION
CHAIR: Robert Crossley, University of Massachusetts,
ROBERT BEGIEBING, New Hampshire College. "The Mythic
Hero in H. G. Wells's The Time Machine."
Though a number of critics have
Wells's mythic vision and the
symbolic processes of his narrative
mythic pattern of Wells's first nov
be examined. Wells's "Time Travell
the mythic quest of the hero as defin
Campbell, Neumann, and Eliade. By
journey into a mysterious and
dimension, the novel's hero gains a
could, but probably will not, be the
, the central
el has yet to
ed by Jung,
JOE SANDERS, Lakeland Community College, Ohio. "Jack
London's and E. E. Smith's Refugee Superman."
Jack London and E. E. Smith grapple with similar
basic concerns in their fascination with the
explosive appearance of the dramatically superior
individual—the superman. Each realizes, however,
that the superman's superiority drives him out of
the relative safety of his crowd. For London, the
superman is doomed to fail, either too slowly
aware of the problems he faces or overcome by their
sheer mass. In his Lensman series, though, Smith
sets about deliberately re-shaping present
conditions to create a world capable of
accommodating the superman.
MANUEL VAN LOGGEM, Amsterdam, Holland. "New Worlds of
Contemporary science fiction and fantasy writers
in the Low Countries, their themes, and their
particular approach to the genres are surveyed in
this excerpt from New Worlds of the Lowlands: An
anthology of Dutch and Flemish Fantasy and Science
Fiction, edited by van Loggem, and forthcoming in
May from Cross-Cultural Communications.
CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL APPROACHES TO
CHAIR: Jan Hokenson, Florida Atlantic university.
GILA RAMRAS-RAUCH, Ohio State University.
Poetics of the Fantastic."
With reference to Frank's concept of spatial form
and Rabkin's reinterpretation, the movement from
earlier fiction to modern and post-modern is seen
to move from realistic to fantastic. The holistic,
centripetal, and temporal properties of the
realistic transmute to the atomistic, centrifugal,
and predominately spatial properties of the
fantastic. A composite modern and post-modern
protagonist, drawn from Beckett, Kafka, Pynchon
and others, demonstrated how fully in the 20th
century the fantastic has been accepted into the
literary mainstream, thus requiring critical
redefinition of the novel and perhaps reappraisal
of earlier distinctions of genre and period.
NANCY C. MELLERSKI, Dickinson College, Carlisle,
Pennsylvania. "The Exploding Matrix: A Study of
the Episode of the Bleeding Nun in Lewis' The
The critical works of Bessiere, Brooks, and
Ricardou illuminate the structural functions of
the episode of the bleeding nun in M. G. Lewis' The
Monk. Beginning on the premise that the fantastic
contains two distinct discourses
(empirical/meta-empirical) that are equally
inadequate to account for a supernatural event,
Beatrice's apparitions are shown to demonstrate
that repetition and multiplication can lead to no
ultimate resolution: causal unity (the metonymic)
is replaced by formal unity (the metaphoric), and
metaphoric perturbations in the episode of the
bleeding nun permanently alter the narrative
structure of The Monk.
INGEBORG KOHN, University of Arizona, Tucson.
"Reversal of Tradition, Oblivion of Memory: The
Fantastic Vision of Monique Wittig's Utopia in Les
ig's novel Les Guerilleres represents
approach to the fantastic and
to contemporary critical discourse
the male-dominated approach known as
To Wittig, and critics Cixous and
write is essentially to rewrite the
thereby appropriating the old language
s for new, feminist invention "in
THE FANTASTIC IN ROMAN LITERATURE
CHAIR: Leonard Wencis, Howard University, Washington,
ROBERT BOUGHNER, St. John Fisher College, Rochester,
N.Y. "The Fantastic Catullus."
Catullus (fl. 55 B.C.) uses imagines, unreal
combinations of atoms and forms according to
Lucretius, to create another world, to transcend
the topical, to treat his constant theme of broken
love on a cosmic scale. Creatures, half woman,
half fish, rise from the waves to see the first
boat made from living pines; tapestries come alive
like some Roman television and tell a tale; and men
and gods live in bliss without want. These
elements from Catullus' Poem 64 make a fantastic
world in which, however, love is born and dies, as
impermanent here as it was in the real Rome where
Lesbia abandoned Catullus.
ANNE P. PERKINS, Washington University, St. Louis,
Missouri. "The Fantastic in Propertius."
Three late elegies of Propertius (Bk. IV, Nos. 7,
8, 11) deliberately exploit supernatural devices.
In the first a decomposing spectre—the poet's
recently buried mistress Cynthia—upbraids,
comforts and ultimately promises Propertius eternal