Arthurian Triptych: Mythic Materials in Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot

Arthurian Triptych: Mythic Materials in Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot

Arthurian Triptych: Mythic Materials in Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot

Arthurian Triptych: Mythic Materials in Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and T. S. Eliot

Excerpt

IN A PAPER delivered at the 1956 meeting of the Modern Language Association, Philip Young named as a major trend in modern criticism "rush to get on the Myth Bandwagon." And as long ago as 1949, Stanley Edgar Hyman began an article entitled "Myth, Ritual, and Nonsense" with the statement that "myth is the new intellectual fashion, apparently, and judging by the recent books on the subject, there is more than one way to skin a myth." Quite obviously we are already in the midst of a new literary and critical movement, undefined as yet, but certainly perceptible in the new books and in the journals; the field of myth study has in recent years become as intense and as cluttered a battleground as was the New Criticism in the early days of The Southern Review . Moreover, the combatants are now more varied; anthropologists, folklorists, psychologists, sociologists, linguists, and historians, as well as literary scholars of every variety, have found bright new axes to grind in the open game of myth hunting.

Although there is as yet no real "mythological" school of criticism, there are certainly great numbers of individual mythological critics, exhibiting a considerable diversity in range and approach. One finds, for example, Richard Chase (an anthropologist) working on Melville, Stith Thompson (a folklorist) and R.

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