vulnerability of English women.
RONALD CURRAN, University of Pittsburg. "Running
Amok: Fantasy and Social Reality in Hunter
Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Some modern anthropological approaches to running
amok argue its function as a complex form of social
criticism. Thompson's requiem for the 1960s is a
drug fantasy, a piece of new journalism which
describes the extravagantly destructive running
amok of Raol Duke, Thompson's persona. The zany
episodes appear to be a blackly humorous
grandstand play for the attention of the socially
alienated drug culture. But in the light of such
contemporary anthropological studies Duke's
bizarre behavior may appear as an intentional
attack on a series of key American social rituals
and the values which underlie them.
DANTE'S INFERNO AS FANTASY LITERATURE
CHAIR: Constance Markey, Loyola University, Chicago.
MADISON U. SOLWELL, Brigham Young University.
"Shades of Dante: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey
Dante's Comedy has been a sourcebook
musicians and artists. However, a
modelled on Dante's Hell has escaped
of Dantists and Italianists: Larry
Jerry Poumelle's Inferno (1976).
Images and scenes in this modern science fiction
odyssey remind us of Dante's, though the tone
clearly places this inferno in 20th century
CHARLES FRANCO, State University of New York, Stony
Brook. "Gerione: The Medieval Flying Machine."
Dante's descent from the seventh to the eighth
circle of Inferno, through Gerione, is one of the
most dramatic passages of the Divine Comedy.
Gerione has been employed as an aerial vessel, the
antecedent to a future space flight but in the
context of the medieval mind seen as a flying
ship. The result is a fantastic voyage through
the empty darkness of Hell in which the interest
of Dante the pilgrim overshadows the fear felt
when he first encountered the awesome monster.
CONSTANCE MARKEY, Loyola University. "Dante and the
Cowboy Cantos: Crossing Flegetonte."
In the twelfth canto of the Inferno Dante lets
down his hair to indulge himself and the reader in
a bit of low comedy and old fashioned suspense. In
his unique use of mythological figures such as
minotaurs and centaurs we recognize more than the
usual medieval taste for storytelling, but rather
the basis for many modern fantasy adventures.
FANTASY AND EXISTENTIALISM
CHAIR: Donald Palumbo, Northern Michigan University.
C. W. SULLIVAN, III., East Carolina University. "H.
P. Lovecraft and Existentialism."
Lovecraft's writings have been examined in a
variety of ways, from autobiographical to
Freudian, but few attempt to place Lovecraft's
work in its early 20th century cultural context
and assess its relationship to other horror
fiction of the day. In context Lovecraft's work
reflects the popular existentialism of his
contemporaries, particularly concerning the topics
of order and identity, which are given a uniquely
Lovecraftian interpretation in such stories as
"The Call of Cthulhu," "Pickman's Model," and the
Randolph Carter dream sequence.
HEIDI FALETTI, The Behrend College, Pennsylvania
State University. "Objective Fantasy as Existential
Reality in Kafka's The Metamorphosis."
Gregor Samsa's tran
concretization of h
traveling salesman e
past activities a
detachment and mechan
is well suited
prepares for final
sterile existence and
of his family.
sformation into a beetle is a
ion of existential guilt; a
is traits as a dehumanized
xploited by his family. The
the beetle correspond to his
nd mental states: habitual
ical routine. The fantastic
to function as a mode of
and self-overcoming. The
and starvation of the beetle
transcendance of both his own
the renewed animal vitality
JEAN-PIERRE LALANDE, Moravian College, Pennsylvania.
"Sartre's Existentialist Approach to the Fantastic
in The Flies and No Exit."
By choosing the mythological world of ancient
Greece as the setting for The Flies, Sartre feels
free to use devices traditionally associated with
the fantastic. Some see this as an attempt to
avoid a direct confrontation , with Nazi censorship
during the occupation. Two years later, however,
with No Exit, Sartre sets the action in another
fantasy world, hell, which complements the world
of the earlier fantasy, and is meant to present a
new image of man's relationship to his
environment, and of his destiny.
ANNE D. C0RDER0, George Mason University, Virginia.
"Vian's L'Ecume des jours: Social Satire Clothed
Boris Vian's L'Ecume des jours presents a special
world of charming fantasy interwoven with profound
sadness. Two themes run parallel: satire of
social attitudes and institutions and an authentic,
touching love story. Vian creates a world where
the impact of social problems is more intense
because of the poetic use of the fantastic, and
yet, inversely, the fantasy saves the harsh social
satire from becoming portentous or polemic.
Together the themes convey a sense of horror and
THE USES OF THE FANTASTIC
CHAIR: James M. Davis, The
Pennsylvania State University.
DAVID NEAL MILLER, Ohio State University,
and Fantasy in 'Young Goodman Brown1."