Guest Post: Tis the Season for Holly Wandlore

Hey, the Contact Tab is working and I have received two Guest Posts and a YouTube musical from Russia, no less, in as many days. Here — after the jump — is the short Wandlore piece that revealed the broken Contact Form: [Read more…]

Guest Post: Myth in Meyer, Lewis, and Disney

A guest post from John Stanifer in Indiana! It is a paper he will be delivering this weekend at Taylor University’s Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C. S. Lewis and Friends. Who knew that Twilight and Till We Have Faces share a mythic antecedent and common cause? Enjoy!

Tale as Old as Time:

A Study of the Cupid and Psyche Myth, with Particular Reference to C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces

In 1956, C.S. Lewis saw the publication of his final novel, Till We Have Faces. “Everyone says it’s my best book,” he wrote to one correspondent (Hooper, 647).  Lewis lovers may argue that point till they have blue faces, but one thing they can agree on is that the novel stands as a testament to Lewis’s love for Greek myth.  For those who are unfamiliar with Till We Have Faces or who simply need a refresher, the novel’s basic plot is a reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, a myth that centers on the love between a gorgeous god and a mortal woman.  As we will see, this myth in all its numerous forms is designed to resonate in the hearts of book lovers, playgoers, film audiences, and human beings everywhere.

The goal of this discussion will be to trace the various adaptations of the Cupid and Psyche myth and its echoes in works as various as the poetry of John Milton, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Though I’ll be referring back to Lewis and Till We Have Faces often, my aim is to unveil the threads that run through each and every one of these works.  [Read more…]

‘Anne of Green Gables’ and Harry Potter

Where have I been over the holidays? Mostly on Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables. I’m working on a new book, tentatively titled Bella Swan’s Bookshelf (creative, I know) about the literary influences playing on the Twilight series and that requires a lot of reading time with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s green and grey-eyed red-head.

We’ve discussed the possible influence of Anne on the Hogwarts Saga before (see Anne Shirley vs. Harry Potter from the archives of the Anne Lexicon site and my response here if you missed that). I want to re-visit the topic for three reasons: [Read more…]

Azkatraz 2009: Blast on the Bay!

I’m speaking tonight at the New York Public Library tonight (6:30 pm, 455 Fifth Avenue, across the street from the Lions) on Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures. I hope to see you there!

If you cannot come to that, please enjoy the photos below and at Flickr as well as stories about Azkatraz 2009, and here, and here, and here, HPEF’s biggest and best Potter con yet. More tomorrow! [Read more…]

The Divine Mirror in Pilgrim’s Progress

Mirrors are a big part of fantasy literature in the English tradition. It starts in a big way with the Alice classics by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), an Oxford Platonist, Anglican clergyman, and mathematician, when he sends his heroine Through the Looking Glass and it echos through Goudge’s work (as we saw yesterday), Tolkien’s Mirror of Galadriel and Frodo’s Light which is essentially a phial of water taken from the pool-mirror, up to the Godfather mirror fragment that plays such a large part in Deathly Hallows.

The tradition of mirrors in fantasy fiction and its origin in the natural theology and logos epistemology of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is discussed at length in The Deathly Hallows Lectures, chapter 5, ‘The Seeing Eye,’ so I won’t beat that to death again here. What I want to share today is what I think may be the first and what is certainly the most important pre-Coleridge use of a mirror that reflects the ‘I’ that is, as Lewis says, “a sacred name.” [Read more…]