The Myth of Persephone in Girls' Fantasy Literature

The Myth of Persephone in Girls Fantasy Literature In this book Blackford historicizes the appeal of the Persephone myth in the nineteenth century and traces figurations of Persephone Demeter and Hades throughout girls literature of the nineteenth

  • Title: The Myth of Persephone in Girls' Fantasy Literature
  • Author: Holly Blackford
  • ISBN: 9780415895415
  • Page: 178
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this book, Blackford historicizes the appeal of the Persephone myth in the nineteenth century and traces figurations of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades throughout girls literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries She illuminates developmental patterns and anxieties in E T A Hoffmann s Nutcracker and Mouse King, Louisa May Alcott s Little Women, Emily BrontIn this book, Blackford historicizes the appeal of the Persephone myth in the nineteenth century and traces figurations of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades throughout girls literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries She illuminates developmental patterns and anxieties in E T A Hoffmann s Nutcracker and Mouse King, Louisa May Alcott s Little Women, Emily Bront s Wuthering Heights, J M Barrie s Peter and Wendy, Frances Hodgson Burnett s The Secret Garden, E B White s Charlotte s Web, J K Rowling s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Stephenie Meyer s Twilight, and Neil Gaiman s Coraline The story of the young goddess s separation from her mother and abduction into the underworld is, at root, an expression of ambivalence about female development, expressed in the various Neverlands through which female protagonists cycle and negotiate a partial return to earth The myth conveys the role of female development in the perpetuation and renewal of humankind, coordinating natural and cultural orders through a hieros gamos fertility coupling rite Meanwhile, popular novels such as Twilight and Coraline are paradoxically fresh because they recycle goddesses from myths as old as the seasons With this book, Blackford offers a consideration of how literature for the young squares with broader canons, how classics flexibly and uniquely speak through novels that enjoy broad appeal, and how female traditions are embedded in novels by both men and women.

    One thought on “The Myth of Persephone in Girls' Fantasy Literature”

    1. Interesting thesis, but not supported using a paradigm and books that should have appeared (Alice in Wonderland, His Dark Materials) did not in favour of books where the myth of Persephone/Kore is much, much less overt. The title is also a little misleading -- The Myth of Persephone in Children's Literature would have been a much better choice.

    2. The title is very misleading. The lenses Blackford uses is occasionally compelling but most of the time I had a hard time indulging her argument.

    3. I read chapter 4 - Lost Girls, Underworld Queens in J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.Fascinating essay which connected two stories I had never though of as similar, but it was really interesting. “In the female gothic, women conjure their demon lovers to express their identification with rebels, their unfeminine sexual desire, and their rage against the confinements of patriarchy.”

    4. I feel like the author started the book with her last two chapters written, as they were the most strongly written and connected the best to her introduction. Then, after she wrote those, she had to add a bunch of examples that weren't was well written, or relevant. Definitely an interesting thesis.

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