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Title: The reception of Homer in modern science fiction literature
Author: Gouldesbrough, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3789
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores the varying ways in which science fiction (SF) authors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have adapted, reworked, and pulled apart the Homeric poems. The thesis draws on both reception and SF theory to highlight not only individual points of interest in the texts at hand but also wider theoretical similarities between the two disciplines. Chapter 1: Polyphony deals with polyphonic narratives in the Bakhtinian sense, demonstrating how SF authors pick up on the multivocal nature of the Odyssey and exploit it to their own ends. Chapter 2: Genre examines the intricacies of the term 'genre' in both SF and classical scholarship; it discusses SF texts that fall into various 'subgenres'-feminist SF; military SF-and parallels them with similar concerns of classical scholarship. Chapter 3: Adaptation outlines patterns in how modern versions of the Homeric poems choose to preserve or alter their stories, and further discusses how a number of texts can in fact be read as dramatisations of certain theories of reception. Chapter 4: Megatext works with the theory of the SF megatext, demonstrating how this works as a reading strategy and paralleling it with wider theoretical discussions of the process of receiving a text. Chapter 5: Sense of Wonder analyses the wonder of the Odyssey and wonders if this is in fact a key reason why SF adaptations of the Odyssey are more prevalent than those of the Iliad. Chapter 6: Cognitive Estrangement discusses the major SF theory of cognitive estrangement, showing how the theory in fact has significant parallels with theories of reception and indeed perhaps with the process of scholarship in general. The thesis demonstrates that SF receptions of the Homeric poems are a rich source of material for scholars, and argues that the productive interface between the two is one that is ripe for further study.
Supervisor: Pitcher, Luke Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Homer ; Science Fiction ; Classical Reception