Literature and Film as Modern Mythology

Date of Publication: March 24, 2000

Author: William K. Ferrell

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Novels and films record and codify the cultural experiences of their people. This book explores the relationship between contemporary literature and film of the past fifty years and the ancient myths of Judeo-Christian, Greek, Celtic, and Eastern origin. Following a detailed description and explanation of both literary and film devices, stories that inform to a mythic tradition are analyzed to identify what they reveal about modern culture. This work explores such diverse subjects as heroism, coming of age, and morality. This approach to literature and film explores how contemporary fiction and film fulfill a continuum in our never-ending search to understand how life ought to be lived.

Encompassing a broad spectrum of modern film and fiction, a variety of authors and directors are represented. Included are novels from such writers as Stephen King, Alice Walker, Ken Kesey, Jerzy Kosinski, Robert Penn Warren, and Michael Ondaatje. Film directors include Stephen Spielberg, Hal Ashby, Phil Alden Robinson, George Stevens, Robert Rossen, and Milos Forman. As a valuable resource for film and literature classes alike, this work also provides suggestions for student projects.

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