Our study of Eros in fantasy will be based on seven short stories (A. Bierce's The Death of Halpin Frayser, Ch. Dickens's The Signalman, Hawthorne's The Minister's Black Veil, P. Highsmith's The Snail-Watcher, H. P. Lovecraft's The Festival, R. Matheson's Born of Man and Woman, E. A. Poe's The Black Cat) and two short excerpts from Gothic novels (M. G. Lewis's The Monk and A. Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho) but occasional reference will be made to other works by these authors and also to Henry James, the Brontë sisters and Le Fanu. We will begin with a brief presentation of the Greek myth of Eros. The second part of this study will consider the problem of knowledge in relation to the erotic dimension of literary fantasies. We will turn to the different manifestations of Eros in fantasy and the process of attraction-repulsion in the third part of this study before examining, in our fourth and final part, two erotic motifs which, latently or overtly, introduce and erotic dimension. They have been used in a variety of texts and we will try to find them in the ones we have selected.
[...] Lewis) and the eroticism that accompanies it are two fantastic elements that we find in fantasy on a regular basis. To this, we could add that because the fantastic experience is one of hesitation between the physically palpable world and that which is not to be grasped, it has also become a process of constant balancing between Eros and Thanatos. The ephemeral Eros offers the possibility to temporarily forget the imminent, unavoidable reality of Thanatos and E. A. Poe's writing, and especially his poetry, is a case in point. [...]
[...] Eros in Fantasy (HANDOUT 1 Who/What is Eros? 2 The Symbollic Dimention Mars Disarmed by Venus (1824), J-L. David Adam and Eve with the Tree of Knowledge as Death (1587 ) Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels From Jacob Ruegg's De conceptu et generatione hominis 3 Attraction Repulsion 4 Two Reccurent Motifs Monk and Sleeping Figure (1927), Allen Lewis Medusa (c. 1598), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Illustration for W. Whitman's The Half Breed and Other Stories 1 ANNABEL LEE 2 (HANDOUT II) by Edgar Allan Poe (1849) It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of ANNABEL And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. [...]
[...] the image of the dark, moist tunnel with a red light in front and the death of the young woman in the train). This is also valid for many of the texts of the Brontë sisters. Both Catherine (in Emily's Wuthering Heights) and Jane (in Charlotte's Jane Eyre) are tempted by villains. We can find layers of images and motifs that suggest sexual intercourse and necrophilia in Wuthering Heights, while the garden scenes and the nightly tête-à-tête-s in Jane Eyre seem to be more direct references to Jane's and Mr. [...]
[...] According to another version of the myth, provided in Hesiod's Theogony, Eros emerged from chaos, from the void that was his mother. In both cases, the god Eros and his two attendants (Pothos or “longing” and Hieros or have come to symbolise sexual attraction and physical love. Thus, myth of Eros can be interpreted as not only physical but also spiritual. But desire is rather ambivalent and in many Greek myths, the satisfaction of the physical longing Eros can inflict has both positive and negative implications and it can bring both pleasure and pain. [...]
[...] Man knew Eros and was made a mortal. Thus, the desires to eat the forbidden fruit, to penetrate the mystery and to know are all intimately connected with the figure of Eros. Reminiscences of the Judaeo-Christian sin of knowledge are very present in The Minister's Black Veil and The Death of Halpin Frayser. The burden of “secret Mr. Hooper carries recalls the Puritan burden of original sin, a burden of which one is never relieved. On the other hand, seemed” to Halpin Frayser “that it was all in expiation of some crime which, though conscious of his guilt, he could not rightly remember.” In both texts, sin seems very much related to the figure of the woman or the mother and to sexuality. [...]
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