The Arthurian legends have had an immense and enduring appeal in America, influencing both America's own mythologies and its literature, film, social history, and popular culture. This is the first full-length study to focus exclusively on American re-interpretations of Arthuriana, and it offers detailed treatments of major authors traditionally associated with the legends, including Mark Twain, Edwin Arlington Robinson, T.S. Eliot, and John Steinbeck; it also explores the important use of Arthurian material by authors not usually considered in an Arthurian context, and by lesser-known writers. Among the topics addressed in the chronological survey are the beginnings of American Arthurian literature and the different reactions to Tennyson; satire and parody; the moralising of knighthood and the development of a body of didactic literature for children; and the reinterpretations of Arthurian tradition in the works of contemporary writers such as Walker Percy and John Updike. A concluding chapter analyses Arthurian themes in American popular fiction and film and demonstrates the extent to which the Arthurian tradition has influenced American popular culture. The volume is completed with a comprehensive bibliography. ALAN LUPACK is Curator of the Rossell Hope Robbins Library at the University of Rochester; BARBARA TEPA LUPACKis former Academic Dean at SUNY and Fulbright Professor of American Literature in Poland and France.
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Epic treatment of the democratization of the Arthurian legend... Highly recommended for generalists in US culture and history as well as for Arthurian students and teachers. CHOICE Their list is an impressive one... The Arthurian story has remained alive and productive in modern culture, America included, to a greater extent than any other secular legacy from the middle ages. The Lupacks' commendably wide researches leave no doubt about the phenomenon, and provide the basis for many explanations. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT [Tom Shippey]
Table of Contents
Arthurian literature in America before Twain; reaction to Tennyson - parody; reaction to Tennyson - visions of courageous achievement; from Twain to the Twenties; beyond "The Waste Land" - Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Faulkner; Steinbeck and the Arthurian legend; contemporary novelists; the Arthurian tradition and American popular culture.
King Arthur in America by Alan Lupack
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