Phoenix from the Ashes: The Literature of the Remade World

By Carl B. Yoke | Go to book overview

to incompleteness. Battle Circle is a long, complex work, totaling over five hundred pages in the omnibus volume, yet the three component novels represent only a portion of Anthony's vision of postholocaust America; he originally planned two additional novels but, as he wrote in a recent letter, "the market was such that I never wrote them, and it does fit together nicely as a trilogy." 34 While it is interesting to speculate on how a five-part series might have been structured, the fact remains that Battle Circle as finally published retains the tripartite arrangement that ties it so closely with epic development.

Anthony noted that he did not consciously model the novels on the Homeric epics, nor had he read the Aeneid; but he conceded that he "could have drawn from a literary pool shaped by these epics." 35 In light of the close parallels in characterization, plotting, and development between classical epic and the three novels comprising Battle Circle, it seems a reasonable conclusion that Anthony did in fact draw from a "literary pool." The form and function of epic has become so integral a part of Western culture that Anthony may simply have intuited a logical structure for his experiment in defining and ordering a post- holocaust society. In his search for an ordering principle, he seems to have recognized the enormous power implicit in the epic tradition. He has constructed his fictive world in parallel with one of the most enduring and conventional of all literary traditions, re-creating in the scope of his trilogy the permutations in heroic characteristics that define epic. To read Battle Circle with this parallel in mind not only deepens one's enjoyment of the novel but broadens one's respect for Anthony's achievement. Three separate facets of the epic tradition are welded into a single unified whole during the course of the novels. Out of chaos his characters generate order; out of conventions of the old, Anthony draws something new. In Sos the Rope, Var the Stick, and Neq the Sword, we find new perspectives of what C. S. Lewis called the "doctrine of the unchanging human heart." 36 Through initial individual heroic action (the only responses left in a world devastated by humanity's stupidity and the cataclysmic results of technological irresponsibility), Anthony shows his world transforming as it works through painful intermediate stages before arriving at stability and finally at true civilization. To show this transformation of old into new, he in turn draws on the imagistic power of one of the oldest literary forms, the epic.


NOTES
1.
C. M. Bowra, From Virgil to Milton ( New York: St. Martin's Press, 1967), p. 11.
2.
C. S. Lewis, Preface to Paradise Lost ( 1942; reprint, London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 39.
3.
For further information, see John M. Steadman, Milton's Epic Characters: Image and Idol (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968); John M. Steadman, Milton and the Renaissance Hero ( London: Oxford University Press, 1967); and Joan Mallory Webber , Milton and His Epic Tradition ( Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979).
4.
The individual novels appeared as Sos the Rope ( New York: Pyramid Books,

-153-

Notes for this page

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 book

This book 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 book

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

Cited page

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 page

Bookmark this page
Phoenix from the Ashes: The Literature of the Remade World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

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
/ 252

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.