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|Title:||Myth, Mysticism and Morality in Russell Hoban's Later Fiction|
|Authors:||Smith, Joan P.|
|Keywords:||movement, anthropocentrism, mytocentrism, collective history, Christian, Islamic, spiritual refinement|
|Abstract:||This thesis considers the movement away from anthropocentrism towards mythocentrism in Russell Hoban's later fiction. An analysis of the nature and results of the juxtapositions of myth, science, collective history and personal crisis in the following novels exemplifies this, his essentially revisionist, philosophy: Riddley Walker(1980), Pilgermann(1983) and The Medusa Freguency(1987). In turn, these novels bring Celtic/Christian, Judea-Islamic and Greco-Roman myth to bear upon various rational scientific societies and characters. In all cases transcendent moments edify the principal characters, whilst alienating them from their societies; in some instances social harmony is restored. This multicultural comparison reveals in Hoban's method a growing concern for (collective and individual) moral and spiritual refinement. As the characters become less anthropocentric and more myth-centred, their transformations towards sexual maturity parallel similar changes in their attitude to myth. They move from destructive behaviour to creative. The observed spiritual growth, from fear and resignation, through faith and liberation, to baptised imagination, provides the structure for the analysis and interpretation of the three novels.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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