The Descent to the Underworld in Literature, Painting and Film, 1895-1950: The Modernist Nekyia

The Descent to the Underworld in Literature, Painting and Film, 1895-1950: The Modernist Nekyia

By: Evans Lansing Smith (author)Hardback

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This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the descent to the underworld in Modernism. The book shows that the nekyia was the single most important myth for the Modernists between 1895 and 1946. It focuses on "necrotypes", symbolic images typically found in association with descent to the underworld. It also takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject, with chapters on the nekyia in film, science, psychology, and painting. It pays careful attention to the multicultural sources for the myth - Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, Celtic, Norse, and Native American.


Introduction - reductio elementa; quintet in a minor key - Strindberg's inferno crisis, Conrad's "Taste of Hell", Lowry's Day of the Dead, Alain-Fournier, Herman Hesse; the lyrical nekyia - Yeats and the "Cocks of Hades", metaphors of poesis in Wallace Stevens, Rilke's "Door of the Dead", Mina Loy - "An Older Ophelia on Lethe", Marguerite Yourcenar's "Fires"; T.S. Eliot and the marital nekyia - the waste land, later poems, four quartets; Marcel Proust's musical nekyia - "Swann's Way", "Within A Budding Grove", "The Guermantes Way", "Cities of the Plain", "The Captive", "The Fugitive"; D.H. Lawrence and the erotic nekyia - early works, "The Rainbow", "Women I Love", "The Plumed Serpent", last works; James Joyce - overlord of the wonderwearlds, "Dubliners", "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", "Ulysses" - "underdarkneath the night", "Finnegan's Wake"; Thomas Mann and the"cult of the sepulchre" - early works, "The Magic Mountain", "Joseph and his Brothers", "Doctor Faustas"; Hermann Broch's "Realm of Shadows", "The Death of Virgil", "The Guiltless"; Robert Musil - "Young Torless", "Claudine's Katabasis", "homo's Holiday"; re-visioning the Elysian fields - the new physics, modernist painting, modernist films, thanatology, the psychological nekyia; conclusion - nekyia as poesis, Hades and hermeneutics, the myth of modernism.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773474925
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 592
  • ID: 9780773474925
  • ISBN10: 0773474927

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