Zemljomorje Ursule Legvin u kontekstu podžanra visoke (epske) fantastike
Stamenković, Sava V.
Faculty:University of Niš, Faculty of Philosophy
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Earthsea, a series which comprises five fantasy novels, eight short stories and a description of the eponymous fictional universe, was published between 1964 and 2014. Over the span of fifty years, the idiolect and the perspective of the author, the American novelist Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018), had underwent considerable change, and with it evolved the fictional world depicted in her work. We examine Earthsea in the context of the subgenre of high/epic fantasy. How does this work conform to the “patterns” of traditional high fantasy, as determined by J. R. R. Tolkien in his Middle-Earth Saga and what are the new elements by means of which the author contributes to the evolution of the subgenre? Chapter one gives an overview of the recently deceased author’s corpus. Chapter two deals with the theoretical features of high (epic) fantasy subgenre – the creation of a specific fictional universe, the role of magic, the conflict between good and evil, and the heroes’ journey
– preceded by general theoretical considerations of genre. A detailed analysis of the distinctive elements of the Earthsea’s universe will be tackled in chapter three focusing primarily on the differences between the first and the second trilogy, generally said to make up the book series. Many critics regard the first trilogy as Tolkienian, whereas the second trilogy is commonly perceived as modern. However, this research identifies a consistent trend of deviations from Tolkien’s model of high fantasy, evident in the internalization of good and evil (both reside within man and not outside), a larger number of female characters, unconventional heroes and heroines, revised treatments of magic and an alternative world view – less western and more far-eastern oriented (primarily Taoistic perspective). The second trilogy introduces the themes that go beyond the conventional characteristics of the subgenre – rape, status of women, environmental protection and multiculturalism. The journey of two main male and three female protagonists will receive critical attention in chapter four, while chapters five and six deal with “the woman question” and ecocriticism in terms of approaching the Earthsea series as an eco-narrative. The concluding chapter concerns the anime adaptation by the Japanese author Goro Miyazaki, revealing his personal interpretative reading of Earthsea.View More
Keywords:Ursula Legvin, Zemljomorje, visoka fantastika, epska fantastika, žanr, omladinska književnost, put heroja, feminizam, ekokritika, ekranizacija; Ursula K Le Guin, Earthsea, high fantasy, epic fantasy, genre, young adult literature, feminism, ecocriticism