Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pseudo-Medieval Whoa-man....

S'okay - the last 27 posts on this blog seem to have been basically about me graduatin', travelin' and packin' - and, hey, that's cool - I gotta try to have a modern life some time! But I think I'm dangerously close to switching categories from "posts on medieval material irregularly" to "once in a month of Sundays...maybe". And the thing is, I've been thinking a lot about the Middle Ages and what I want to say about it as I dive back into the work pool this year. But thinking is not doing, so here goes...

And this, as the title of the post proclaims, is probably pseudo-medieval. It's about the other of the 2 classes I'm teaching next year: Fantasy! Pretty cool, eh? There's sort of a template (general critical questions for the course) and a suggested reading list in place (which I can tweak at will) - it will look at the historical origins of fantasy and modern fantasies, including horror, medieval-ish sword and heroic fantasy. A couple of the reading choices are the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (too long for a semester? One or two books from it?) and one of the Harry Potter books (probably the first) - now, I'm all over this class like a rat on a cheeto.

My question for the blogosphere (if you feel like it in the middle of packing up your own boxes, of course!) - any other suggestions? As much as I would like to make it solely about medieval and medieval-inspired fantasy, I'd like to make it a comprehensive intro to the genre/mode. I dig horror books, but I'm not sure that they're horror fantasy. Also, does anyone know of any nineteenth- and early twentieth-century fantasy stories? Any handy collections out there?


At 12:10 PM, Anonymous morganlf said...

I would definitely include a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. I'm reading his novella, At the Mountains of Madness right now and it's great. His short story "The Rats in the Walls" is great.

H.P. Lovecraft's big influences are Arthur Machen and Robert Chambers (his novel The King in Yellow is what I'm thinking of). Both write horror/fantasy.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger KLee said...

I'm not really sure if this is what you were looking for, but there's an anthology of short stories that all have that sort of fantasy/medieval-y flair -- it's called "Shadows of Sanctuary", and it was edited by Robert Lynn Asprin. I read it several years ago, and I remember loving it.

Don't know if it's quite what you had in mind, but it's worth a look.


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