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Aesthetic Reverberations in Literature and Education

Edited By Feryal Cubukcu

Aestheticism is broader in scope than the philosophy of art. It is also broader than the philosophy of beauty, in that it applies to any of the responses we might expect works of art or entertainment to elicit, whether positive or negative. That is why the articles in this collective volume aim to highlight the various reverberations of aestheticism on literature and education over the centuries.

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Arthurian Adaptations of the Otherworld (Carlos A. Sanz Mingo)


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Carlos A. Sanz Mingo1

Arthurian Adaptations of the Otherworld

1. Introduction

The Oxford English Dictionary defines aesthetics as “the philosophy of theory of taste or of the perception of the beautiful.” Even when there were no actual philosophical discussions in the Middle Ages regarding what it was or what could be regarded as beautiful, we can infer the tastes and likes of the medieval population through some texts. Some of those ideas have permeated into the contemporary world: our perception, for instance, of what hell or heaven is, or what they may look like. The interest in the Otherworld is obvious in many traditions throughout the world and the Indo-European cultures share a rich array of motifs on the topic. In Welsh and Irish texts, the Otherworld is seen as a “fluid, ambiguous place, which cut across spatial boundaries” (Green, 1997, p. 167). It is, in many of the accounts, an island or a group of islands in the Western Sea. With a few exceptions, the Otherworld is usually depicted as “a happy place, the source for all wisdom, where there is peace and harmony” (Green, 1997, p. 167). It is typically a timeless, ageless place where there are no illnesses, a place humans can usually reach by boat across the sea, but at times, through a cave or a lake. For the Celts, the Otherworld was a beautiful world and it was linked to the idea of magic. In Irish...

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