One Earth, One People: The Mythopoeic Fantasy Series of Ursula K. Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L’Engle and Orson Scott Card

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

One Earth, One People, the winner of 2010 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies, takes a close look at mythopoeic fantasy: a central genre of the fantasy galaxy that first took shape in the work of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. It examines the post-Lewisian and post-Tolkienian trajectory of mythopoeic fantasy with the focus on its American evolution as exemplified in the fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L’Engle and Orson Scott Card. One Earth, One People develops three interconnected arguments. First, it asserts that criticism of fantasy to date has been of two kinds, reductionist and holistic, with the former dominating the field for years yet unable to account for fantasy in its own terms. Second, it defines the genre of mythopoeic fantasy as constituting the center of the ever-expanding fantasy nebula and locates its emergence in the context of 20th century re-evaluation of myth. Third, it suggests that the powerful appeal of mythopoeic fantasy is largely due to the fact that works of this genre explore the components of a new mythology for the unified humanity, the imperatives to 1) seek harmonious and balanced relationships between humans of different sexes, races and religions; 2) integrate the past and traditions with future oriented goals; 3) integrate the scientific and the spiritual worldviews and 4) redefine human relationship with the natural world along ecological lines. The cumulative hypothesis of One Earth, One People is thus that mythopoeic fantasy assist modern readers in the formation of a new consciousness for the unified planet.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationJefferson, NC
PublisherMcFarland
ISBN (Print)0786431350
StatePublished - 2008

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