An article titled “Across the Great Divide: Classical Epic and the Poetics of Fantasy” by Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics Jesse Weiner appears in Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy, published last week by Oxford University Press.
In the first part of his essay, Weiner suggests that contemporary high fantasy literature very closely fits Aristotle’s guidelines for epic poetry.
Drawing upon the so-called “Great Divide” between “high” and “popular” art and the aesthetics of Theodore Adorno, Clement Greenberg and Virginia Woolf, Weiner then accounts for the divergent critical receptions of classical epic poetry and contemporary fantasy literature.
According to the publisher’s website, Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy “is the first collection of essays in English focusing on how fantasy draws deeply on ancient Greek and Roman mythology, philosophy, literature, history, art, and cult practice.”
The collection of 15 essays was edited by Brett M. Rogers of the University of Puget Sound and author Benjamin Eldon Stevens.