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Magic, monsters, and make-believe heroes : how myth and imagination shape fantasy culture

Author: Douglas E Cowan
Publisher: Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2019] ©2019
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Through an exploration of fantasy culture, this book asks why we are so eager to invest in storyworlds that, on the surface, can't possibly be true. And, more than that, why we continue to tell the same fantastic stories over and over again. To say, "Well, Hollywood has run out of good ideas, so they just recycle old ones," doesn't begin to address the issue. It doesn't explain why fantasy culture so closely  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Cowan, Douglas E.
Magic, monsters, and make-believe heroes.
Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2019]
(DLC) 2018031120
(OCoLC)1044001260
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Douglas E Cowan
ISBN: 9780520967274 0520967275
OCLC Number: 1043965737
Description: 1 online resource : illustrations
Contents: Here be dragons --
Once upon a time ... --
Imagining magic --
Between Puer Aeternus and Vitam Aeternam --
The mythic hero: East --
The mythic hero: West --
Imagining the warrior-heroine --
The stuff of legends --
... happily ever after?
Responsibility: Douglas E. Cowan

Abstract:

"Through an exploration of fantasy culture, this book asks why we are so eager to invest in storyworlds that, on the surface, can't possibly be true. And, more than that, why we continue to tell the same fantastic stories over and over again. To say, "Well, Hollywood has run out of good ideas, so they just recycle old ones," doesn't begin to address the issue. It doesn't explain why fantasy culture so closely resembles the stories much of humankind holds sacred. That is, it doesn't explain the mythic imagination, the principal means by which we continually reconstruct and reinforce our place in the universe. This book looks at fantasy film, television, gaming, and participative culture as evidence of the ongoing need for a mythic vision, for stories larger than ourselves, into which we write ourselves, and some of which we elevate over time to the status of "religion." Fairy tales, for example, teach us more than simply the concept of "stranger danger" and that we shouldn't go into the forest at night. More than that, by comparing different versions and tellings of familiar stories, we gain insight into the multiverse of human storyworld creation. Largely bracketing the question of "truth," this book uses fantasy storyworlds (whether cinematic or televisual, literary or participatory) to explore the nature of the mythic imagination itself. Put simply, facts don't tell us who we are. Stories do"--Publisher's website

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"While some scholars may be dubious about the importance of analyzing, for example, a YouTube series created by Star Trek actor Will Wheaton, "geek" culture has become increasingly mainstream in the Read more...

 
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