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Merlin : knowledge and power through the ages

Author: Stephen Knight
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, has been a source of enduring fascination for centuries. In this authoritative text, the author traces the myth of Merlin back to its roots in the early Welsh figure of Myrddin. He then follows Merlin as he is imagined and reimaged through the centuries of literature and art. He covers French and German as well as Anglophone elements of the myth and brings the story up to the  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Knight, Stephen Thomas.
Merlin.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2009
(OCoLC)760848047
Named Person: Merlin.
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen Knight
ISBN: 9780801443657 0801443652
OCLC Number: 319691085
Awards: Winner of A 2010 Choice Magazine "Outstanding Academic Title.
Description: xvii, 275 pages : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Contents: British Myrddin-Merlin: wisdom. Myrddin-Merlin --
The earliest materials --
Natural wisdom: Myrddin of Cumbria --
Prophetic wisdom: Myrddin of Wales --
Wisdom at court: Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae --
Twelfth-century natural wisdom: Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini --
Medieval Merlin: advice. From prophecy to advice: Wace --
Christian advice: Robert de Boron --
Grand Vizier: the vulgate Merlin --
Darkening advice: the post-vulgate Merlin --
Advising a nation: from Layamon to Malory --
English Merlin: cleverness. Prophecy and advice in decline --
Renaissance cleverness --
Cleverness high and low: the seventeenth century --
Cleverness high and low: the eighteenth century --
The dangers of cleverness: the romantics --
The dangers of cleverness: the Victorians --
International Merlin: education. Continental Merlin: from cleverness back to wisdom --
Toward education: America --
Toward education: Britain --
Education and the novel: White, Lewis, and Cooper --
Education and the novel: historicism, juveniles, and fantasy --
Merlin on screen --
International Merlin.
Responsibility: Stephen Knight.

Abstract:

Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, has been a source of enduring fascination for centuries. In this authoritative text, the author traces the myth of Merlin back to its roots in the early Welsh figure of Myrddin. He then follows Merlin as he is imagined and reimaged through the centuries of literature and art. He covers French and German as well as Anglophone elements of the myth and brings the story up to the present with discussions of a globalized Merlin who finds his way into popular literature, film, television, and New Age philosophy. The author argues that Merlin in all his guises represents a conflict basic to Western societies - the clash between knowledge and power. While the Merlin story varies over time, the underlying structural tension remains the same whether its takes the form of bard versus lord, magician versus monarch, or scientist versus capitalist. As Knight sees it, Merlin embodies the contentious duality inherent to organized societies. -- from Book Jacket.

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