To be published!

Well, those were short 4 to 6 months. I have received an e-mail from Mythlore yesterday stating that they are going to publish my essay on Pratchett and Tolkien! This trip to the US has just become even sweeter in retrospect…

I will keep you updated about when exactly the essay is going to appear in Mythlore journal.

Oh, and the presentation yesterday also went well. It was rather weird talking in German about what I normally work on in English, but professors and students seemed to like it. Now to start with plans for my next essay on fantastic architecture (I hope my two semesters of art history will be sufficient to tackle the topic) and write, write, write…


Penny for the Guy?

And back again. The conference was a smashing success, geeky and slightly wonky but also filled with too many excellent papers and panels. People were generally amazed by my coming over from Europe just for Mythcon and a week in New England – but hey, I got to meet academics from North and South and East and West, so it was basically a bit of all the US condensed into a campus!

I guess what I enjoyed most was the annoyingly curious attitude of American smalltalk. People don’t wait and think of possible topics that could be used in conversation, they just start talking to you and ask who you are and where your funny accent is coming from. A refreshing change from some of the stop-and-go conversations that characterise the middle of Europe.

Anyhow, I am now catching up with what I thought I had left behind (e.g. PhD, teaching, generally administrative matters) and do hope that my university will pay for at least some of my expenses during the trip. I will of course pay for hotels and my week o’fun in Providence and Boston, but I’d be glad to be compensated for Mythcon costs and my 100-dollar taxi ride from the airport to campus…


Quoted by myself

Looks like I have gained two followers on Tumblr while I have lost two on Twitter. Welcome!

In any case, I have begun preparing my conference presentation and feel like I’m cheating on and with myself – basically, I am taking the best bits of my essay and garnishing them with powerpoint slides. For those who are interested, here is the abstract, which I might have posted before due to academic amnesia:

More than just a set of parodies, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are a continuing examination of the nature of fantasy fiction. The development of the Discworld from a mere background to a fully-fledged secondary world both reflects and challenges the Tolkienian ideal of sub-creation. Pratchett does not simply parody the genre in the vein of Bored of the Rings or Barry Trotter but takes inspiration from fantasy and its roots as well as other strands of literature to turn them into an amalgam of his own creation. In doing so, he questions the clichés and established tropes of the genre and fiction in general, be it by casting secondary characters as main protagonists or by exploring Tolkien’s influence from unusual perspectives. Beneath the prevalent jokes and puns that make up a Discworld novel lies a serious debate about genre, reader expectations and human nature. As a “world and mirror of worlds”, the Discworld continues to shed new light on topics ranging from magic and power to literary theory and narratology.

I have entered my essay for the best student paper competition at Mythcon, so keep your fingers crossed! And do you have any ideas for an easy fantasy-themed costume? Apparently there is going to be a why-not-dress-yourself-up-as-an-Uruk-hai party one night…

mistspinner asked: Are you going to make this essay available online somewhere? Because I would totally, in a heartbeat, read it.

Probably not because it will most likely be published by the Mythopoetic Society after I have given my presentation. But I could certainly send the essay to you if you’re interested and refrain from using it commercially – unless we share the wages, of course 😉