“Music Makers” and World Creators : The Forms And Functions Of Embedded Poems In British Fantasy Narratives book cover
1st Edition

“Music Makers” and World Creators
The Forms And Functions Of Embedded Poems In British Fantasy Narratives

ISBN 9780367609139
Published May 6, 2022 by Routledge
294 Pages

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Book Description

Many works of fantasy literature feature a considerable number of embedded poems, some written by the authors themselves, some borrowed and transformed from other authors. Exploring the mechanisms of this mix and the interaction between individual poems and the overall narrative, this monograph analyses the various forms and functions of embedded poems in major works of fantasy literature. The choice of authors and texts shed light on the development of fantasy as a genre that frequently mixes prose and verse and thus continues the long tradition of prosimetric practices after the Romantic period. Not only does the analysis of the embedded poems allow for a new understanding of the individual works. It also promises insights into shared literary-historical roots, cross-influences between the authors and the role of the mix of poetry and prose for the imaginative and subversive potential of fantasy literature in general. Providing comprehensive case studies of the forms and functions of embedded poems in fantasy literature, this volume illuminates the emergence of modern fantasy and its impact on contemporary fantasy.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  3. Theory, Methodology and Corpus
    1. Participating Genres
      1. The Concept of Genre
      2. Prose Narratives
      3. Poetry
      4. Fantasy Literature

    2. Prosimetric Literature: Forms, Development and Functions
      1. Forms and Development
      2. General and Narrative Functions

    3. Methodological Toolset and Corpus Selection
      1. Terms and Hypotheses
      2. The Corpus Selection



  4. George MacDonald’s Phantastes (1858)
    1. Literary Influences and Artistic Vision
    2. Imagination and Creative Power in Paratextual and Intratextual Poems
    3. Love and Ideals in Paratextual and Intratextual Poems
    4. Failure and Improvement in Paratextual and Intratextual Poems
    5. Journey and Death in Paratextual and Intratextual Poems
    6. Interim Conclusion


  5. Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871)
    1. Lewis Carroll and Nonsense Fantasy
    2. The Framing Poems
    3. Jabberwocky
    4. Nursery Rhymes and Parodies
    5. Of Fish and Power
    6. Interim Conclusion



  6. William Morris’ The Sundering Flood (1897)
    1. The Political and Aesthetic Influences on Morris’ Last Romances
    2. Scolding Songs
    3. Words and Staves on War and Strife
    4. Humanising the Hero in Rhymes and Relationships
    5. Interim Conclusion


  7. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954/1955)
    1. Literary Influences and Mythopoeic Project
    2. The Ring Verse
    3. Ludic Lyrics and Poetic Power Play: The Hobbits and Tom Bombadil
    4. Lyrical Lore of Past and Future
    5. Martial Melodies and Death Dirges
    6. Panegyrics for the Past
    7. Poetic Praise and Prayer
    8. There and Back Again on Poeticised Paths
    9. Interim Conclusion


  8. Conclusion

  10. Works Cited
    1. Primary Works
    2. Secondary Works

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Michaela Hausmann received her Ph.D. at the University of Vechta, Germany, where she also worked as a research assistant and lecturer in English Literary Studies. She has taught and presented on various aspects of English literature, especially fantasy literature, poetry, Victorian literature, Early Modern drama and Romanticism. Her publications include: Beyond Generic and Medial Borders: Poetry in Fantastic Literary Narratives and Their Respective Film Adaptations, in Timo Müller/David Kerler (eds.). Poetry Unlimited. Berlin: de Gruyter, and Lyrics on Lost Lands: Constructing Lost Places through Poetry in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in Dimitra Fimi / Thomas Honegger (eds.). Sub-creating Arda: World-building in J.R.R. Tolkien's Work, its Precursors and its Legacies. Zurich / Jena: Walking Tree.