North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies. #30 (2011)

By Croft, Janet Brennan | Mythlore, Fall-Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies. #30 (2011)


Croft, Janet Brennan, Mythlore


NORTH WIND: A JOURNAL OF GEORGE MACDONALD STUDIES. #30 (2011). Edited by Fernando Soto and John Pennington. ISSN 0265-7295. http://www.snc.edu/english/northwind.html. Available with membership, $18 annually in US.

MALLORN: THE JOURNAL OF THE TOLKIEN SOCIETY. #53 (SPRING 2012). Ed. Henry Gee. ISSN 0308-6674. With membership; 26 [pounds sterling] UK, 35 [pounds sterling] outside of Europe.

TOLKIEN STUDIES: AN ANNUAL SCHOLARLY REVIEW. #9 (2012). Ed Verlyn Flieger and Michael D.C. Drout. West Virginia University Press. ISSN 1547-3155. $60.00.

FASTITOCALON: STUDIES IN FANTASTICISM ANCIENT TO MODERN. #2.1&2 (2011). Ed. Thomas Honegger and Fanfan Chen. Wissenschftlicher Verlag Trier. ISSN 1869-960X. 20,00[euro].

NORTH WIND'S 2011 ISSUE STARTS OFF WITH GEOFFREY REITER'S "'Down the Winding Stair': Victorian Popular Science and Deep Time in 'The Golden Key.'" Reiter's thesis is that our understanding of MacDonald's themes can be improved if we are aware of the upheavals in natural science taking place contemporaneously with his writing. Robert Chambers's Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation was a particularly popular book, outselling Darwin's Origin of Species until the late 1880s, and the influence of its "variant Genesis" account can be seen at a fairly straightforward level in The Princess and Curdie and more symbolically in Tangle's descent "down the winding-stair" in "The Golden Key."

Next Osama Jarrar discusses how MacDonald questions the dominant Victorian social and familial structure of his time through his fairy tales and fantasy novels. It is unfortunately marred by his misuse of the term 'genetic' as an opposite for 'hereditary'; perhaps a better term for his purposes would have been 'innate.' Jarrar argues that in characters such as Curdie and Diamond, MacDonald opposes a social scale based of hereditary social status with one privileging inner nobility of spirit.

Robin Phillips's "George MacDonald and the Anthropology of Love" represents another case where the terminology used could be more precise, as we are really being asked to consider religion and philosophy, not anthropology, in this article. Phillips begins with a review of two opposing religious influences on MacDonald--the rigid and legalistic Calvinism of his paternal grandmother and the more joyful and caring approach of his father--and how they manifest in his works in an existentialist preference for works over thoughts and a transformation of work into beauty through love, thus "anticipat[ing] a type of aesthetic apologetics that would concern later writers like G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers and C.S. Lewis" (36).

Melody Green next examines how MacDonald and Lewis Carroll, friends and influences upon each other, both used nonsense poetry to challenge contemporary ideas and customs about death. Carroll, in his Alice books, tends to treat death as a joke and something to be made mock of--think of the "gently smiling jaws" of Alice's crocodile--where MacDonald turns this around to propose that a familiarity with death gives us the ability to create and enjoy nonsense in response to its absurdity. A similar article takes on the same topic in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's works in Fastitocalon, described below.

Next we turn to the subject of corpus-stylistic criticism, which involves the computer-assisted analysis of vocabulary used in a selected portion of an author's output. It can be as simple as a word frequency list (the sort used to generate "word cloud" visual representations) or as complex as semantic tagging which places individual words into linguistic categories. Patrick Maiwald analyzes forty-one items of MacDonald's fiction, first at a simple word-frequency level, then in comparison with a similar group of contemporary Victorian fiction, and continuing on to more complex analysis of phrases and tagging. Maiwald freely admits that this sort of analysis is very limited and does not really have a great deal of importance on its own at present, but it can bring precision and corroboration to the study of an author's particular style or the development of themes and influences over his lifetime. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies. #30 (2011)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.