Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock

The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock: Critical Essays on the Fiction (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy)The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock: Critical Essays on the Fiction (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy) 

The Mythic Fantasy of Robert Holdstock: Critical Essays on the Fiction (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy) edited by Donald E. Morse and Kálmán Matolcsy is another one of the books that I received for review from McFarland Publishers.

Mythago Wood The Hollowing Lavondyss: Journey to an Unknown Region (A Novel of the Mythago Cycle)

And this is where I admit I have never read any of Holdstock's works. He's only been on the fringes of my awareness and after browsing through this collection of essays about his work, I am more interested in him than before.  Previously, he's been on my "interesting, perhaps someday" list. So in the end, that is the best recommendation I have for this book, it will spark your interest in Holdstock's worlds. He used myth and some fairy tale to inform his worlds.

Book description from the publisher:

Robert Holdstock was a prolific writer whose oeuvre included horror, fantasy, mystery and the novelization of films, often published under pseudonyms. These twelve critical essays explore Holdstock’s varied output by displaying his works against the backdrop of folk and fairy tales, dissecting their spatiotemporal order, and examining them as psychic fantasies of our unconscious life or as exempla of the sublime. The individual novels of the Mythago Wood sequence are explored, as is Holdstock’s early science fiction and the Merlin Codex series.

About the Editors
Donald E. Morse is a professor at the University of Debrecen, in Hungary, and is an emeritus professor at the University of Oakland in Michigan. He is the author of a dozen books and over 100 scholarly articles. Kalman Matolcsy is a translator, poet, composer, and a professor at the University of Debrecen. He has written numerous scholarly articles on the literature of horror, fantasy and science fiction. Donald E. Palumbo is a professor of English at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He lives in Greenville. C.W. Sullivan III is Distinguished Professor of arts and sciences at East Carolina University and a full member of the Welsh Academy. He is the author of numerous books and the on-line journal Celtic Cultural Studies.
Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments xi
Foreword: Under the Spell of a Magician
Introduction: Mythago Wood—“A Source of Visions and Adventure”

Part One: Approaches
1. The Embodiment of Abstraction in the Mythago Novels
2. Masks in the Forest: The Dynamics of Surface and Depth in the Mythago Cycle
3. Exploring the Habitats of Myths: The Spatiotemporal Structure of Ryhope Wood

Part Two: The Novels
4. Time Winds: Early Science Fiction
5. Profusion Sublime and the Fantastic: Mythago Wood MAREK OZIEWICZ 81
6. Tallis, the Feminine Presence in Mythago Wood: Lavondyss: Journey to an Unknown Region
7. Embedded Narratives in Lavondyss and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of DarknessVERA BENCZIK 114
8. Stories to Illuminate Truth and Lies to Hide Pain: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn DONALD E. MORSE 129
9. “A Heap of Broken Images”—The Mythological Wasteland of the Mind: The Hollowing and Ancient Echoes
10. “So many names in so many tongues...”: Allusive Mythology in
Celtika C. W. SULLIVAN III 156
11. Thresholds, Polders, and Crosshatches in the Merlin Codex

Robert Holdstock Bibliography 177
About the Contributors 183
Index 187
The Broken Kings: Book Three of The Merlin Codex Avilion (Mythago Wood 7) Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago 6) The Mythago Cycle Volume 2: Ryhope Wood: 4: A Ryhope Wood Omnibus: v. 2 (Gollancz S.F.)
The Iron Grail (Merlin Codex Book 2) Earthwind Celtika

So do we have any Holdstock fans out in the SurLaLune readership?


  1. Yes you do, yes you do! Wonderful writing. Reads very different to a lot of fantasy, I remember feeling scared and confused yet enchanted. The idea of the mythago; embodiments of mythic characters made up of our collective representations / thoughts is clever and disturbing. (elements of Jung) (Charles delint does something similar in Onion girl). I highly recommend these books to anyone interested in British mythology, there are such parallels in the concept of the mythago to fact I feel a re read coming on.

  2. I've read Mythago Wood and it is one of those books that stays with you after you've turned the last page.
    I highly recommend!!!

  3. I have read teh Mythago Wood trilogy several times and bought it for my friends as well..
    I cannot believe you've opened that first page and got hooked!