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Ancient Myths in the Making of Culture


Małgorzata Budzowska and Jadwiga Czerwińska

The reception of Mediterranean Antiquity heritage is one of the dominant research areas in contemporary classical studies. This issue has constituted the scope of the conference Reception of Ancient Myths in Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Culture, which took place at the University of Łódź (Poland) in November 2013. The volume consists of the selected articles based on the conference papers. They are divided into the main chapters: Literature, Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy as well as Anthropology. The authors consider different methods of reception of ancient myths focusing on various cultural phenomena: literature, fine arts, theatre, cinema and pop culture.
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The Myth of the Minotaur in Postmodern Narrative Space


This paper attempts to examine the transformation of the classical myth of the Minotaur in contemporary fiction, in particular, in S. Sherrill’s novel ‘The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break’. The analysis is conducted using the methods of cognitive poetics and narratology. Narratological analysis of the novel addresses such issues as the time of the narration, characterization, and interrelations between the narrator and the focalizer etc. The study of the narrative also includes exploration of the ways in which narrative structures cause cognitive effects in the reader. The reception of the myth of the Minotaur in postmodern culture is reflected in the process of construction of mental representation of the story. In our paper we apply the Text World Theory to compare the conceptual structure of the classical myth and Steven Sherrill’s novel and analyse intertextual links between them on the level of fictional worlds. Application of narratological and cognitive theory to the analysis of the novel results in a better overall understanding of the postmodern interpretation of the classical myth and a re-evaluation of the roles of its main characters.

Mythological motifs have been widely used in the literature of various epochs. Special interest in myths is observed in the 20th century as a result of a reassessment of values and re-examining classical myths. Ziolkowski believes that the revitalized return to antiquity in the early twentieth century can be attributed to World War I, which generated an urgent search for principles of order to compensate for...

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