SATURDAY, 11 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
Gawain's journey through Logres in search of the
Green Chapel is marked by dangers which supplement
the mortal test he must face upon reaching his
destination; at every river crossing he is threatened by monsters — specifically wolves, bulls,
bears, boars, dragons, giants, and wild men. It
is easy to see how "wild men" could be identified
with the sin of Envy. Gawain is perfectly capable
of dealing with any and all sins, provided they
manifest themselves as obvious, external threats:
it is sin in the disguised and attractive form of
chivalric manners and fin amor that gives him
Joel N. Feimer, Mercy College. "English Myth and
French Fantasy: The Giant of Mont St. Michel in
the Alliterative Morte Arthure."
This paper demonstrates the infusion of the techniques of fantasy, which may be found in the
twelfth century romances of Chretien de Troyes
into the horrifying but stark mythological arthur-
ian figure, the Giant of Mont St. Michel. His
portrait as established by Geoff rey of Monmouth
and developed by Wace and Layamon is substantially
embellished in the fourteenth century alliterative
Morte Arthure with the aid of some fantastic elements for which analogues may be found in Chretien's Giant Herdsman from Yvain."
narratives "Der Sandmann" and "Automata." A review
of the history of these mechanical people and the
interpretation of two works by Hoffmann in which
they appear introduces a discussion of their use
as a vehicle for the presentation and analysis of
the reflexivity in the experience of art. The
mysteries of the automata and the other strange
and incomplete experiences in Hoffmann's narratives become the means of setting up resonances
that continue reverberating pendulum-like within
the imagination of characters within the narratives and readers of them.
Thomas A. Kamla, University of Scranton. "Oral Sadism
in E.T.A. Hoffmann's 'Vampirgeschichte'."
A latent oral-sadistic content informs E.T.A.
Hoffmann's novella "Vampirgeschichte," which makes
the vividly portrayed closing scene — the heroine
Aurellile feeding on the flesh of an exhumed
corpse — psychologically explainable in that it
points to a fantasy on her part to reestablish a
narcissistic equilibrium that had been threatened
in early childhood. Hoffmann treats precisely
those prototypical junctures of life (infancy and
nourishment, the parent as narcissistic complement, maternal dependence and incorporation, puberty, etc.) which, if frustrated in their normal
development, lead to a loss of self-esteem and
ultimately to the kind of aggressive oral incorporation suggested by the title.
SATURDAY, MARCH 26
2-3:30 P. M.
THE FANTASTIC IN THE WORKS OF E.T.A. HOFFMANN
Chair: Hans Ternes, Lawrence University.
Andras Sandor, Howard University. "Myth and Satire:
Hoffmann's 'Der Goldene Topf
The paper distinguishes between sublime and ironical myths. Greek creation-myths may characterize
the former, Winnebago trickster-myths the later.
From a sociological point of view, sublime myths
are in harmony with unquestioned authority; ironical myths are characteristic of a mentality which
does not know of an unquestioned authority. The
long tales (Marchen) of E.T.A. Hoffman are ironical myths. The mythical element is as widespread
in them as the satirical. I shall analyze The
Golden Pot as an exemplary work of this category
and pay particular attention to Lindhorst, the
Salamander, whose nature and function can be
equated with that of the trickster-figure of ironical myths.
Ernest L. Weiser, Florida Atlantic University. "Hoffmann's Automata: The Mysterious Resonance of
Previous studies of the automata miss the essential meaning of their portrayal in Hoffmann's
FEMALES AND THE FEMININE IN FANTASY
Chair: S. C. V. Sterner, C. W. Post College.
Marleen Barr, Virginia Polytechnic Institute. "Dame
Unise, Feminist Maiden Who Fares Well with the
After voyaging out from enclosed worlds, four
female protagonists of recent feminist fantasy
derive self-awareness from experiencing solitary
adventure. Once their adventure ends, they are
ensconced within a new protected environment,
safely — and sometimes literally — embraced by
strong female support. The pattern is traced in
Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong A(1976); Suzy McKee
Charnas' Motherlines (1978); and Elizabeth A.
Lynn's The Northern Girl (1980). Jessica Amanda
Salmonson's "The Prodigal Daughter" (1981) continues this emerging tradition. To exemplify the
directions of contemporary feminist fantasy, this
essay will discuss Salmonson's story in terms of
the three previously mentioned texts. References
to Louis Bernikow's Among Women will link these
works to contemporary feminist reality.
Arthur Coleman, C. W.
Post College. "Chinks in Sir
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has often been
read as a "test" tale, with Gawain's chastity the
value tested. But the choice of the word "chastity" to define the nature of Gawain's trial is
highly suggestive in that it is the one term most
often used in reference to female continence and
virginity. In this sense, therefore, SGGK can be
read as a clasic psychological metaphor of the