The Literary Angel

Essays on Influences and Traditions Reflected in the Joss Whedon Series

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About the Book

The fictionalized Los Angeles of television’s Angel is a world filled with literature—from the all-important Shansu prophecy that predicts Angel’s return to a state of humanity to the ever-present books dominating the characters’ research sessions. This collection brings together essays that engage Angel as a text to be addressed within the wider fields of narrative and literature. It is divided into four distinct parts, each with its own internal governing themes and focus: archetypes, narrative and identity, theory and philosophy, and genre. Each provides opportunities for readers to examine a wide variety of characters, tropes, and literary nuances and influences throughout all five televised seasons of the series and in the current continuation of the series in comic book form.

About the Author(s)

AmiJo Comeford is an assistant professor of English at Dixie State College of Utah, teaching courses in women’s literature, early British and nineteenth-century American literature, and literary theory.
Tamy Burnett is a lecturer in English and women’s and gender studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teaching courses in American literature, women’s literature, and popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by AmiJo Comeford and Tamy Burnett
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4661-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5771-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction: Los Angeles, City of Story

AMIJO COMEFORD and TAMY BURNETT      1

One : Archetypes

Biting Humor: Harmony, Parody, and the Female Vampire

LORNA JOWETT      17

Doyle as “The Passing Figure” and Nella Larsen’s Passing

ANGEL ANDERSON      30

Pylean Idol: L.A.’s De(con)struction of a Postmodern Bard

JENNIFER HAMILTON      41

Lilah Morgan: Whedon’s Legal Femme Fatale

SHARON SUTHERLAND and SARAH SWAN      54

Two : Narrative & Identity

Fred’s Captivity Narrative: American Contexts for (Re)Writing Community Identity from Mary Rowlandson to Angel

TAMY BURNETT      69

Feminist Abuse Survivor Narratives in Angel and Sarah Daniels’s Beside Herself

ANIKA STAFFORD      85

Numero Cinco, Border Narratives, and Mexican Cultural Performance in Angel

VICTORIA PETTERSEN LANTZ      98

Three : Theory & Philosophy

(Re)Negotiating the Dystopian Dilemma: Huxley, Orwell, and Angel

MARY ELLEN IATROPOULOS      115

Angel vs. the Grand Inquisitor: Joss Whedon Re- imagines Dostoevsky

KATIA MCCLAIN      130

Charles Gunn, Wolfram & Hart, and Baudrillard’s Theory of the Simulacrum

K. SHANNON HOWARD      147

“It’s a play on perspective”: A Reading of Whedon’s Illyria through Sartre’s Nausea

CYNTHEA MASSON      159

Four : Genre

Helping the Helpless: Medieval Romance in Angel

AMIJO COMEFORD      175

Whedon Meets Sophocles: Prophecy and Angel

LAUREL BOWMAN      191

Detective Fiction/Fictionality from Asmodeus to Angel

ALISON JAQUET      206

It (Re-)Started with a Girl: The Creative Interplay Between TV and Comics in Angel: After the Fall

STACEY ABBOTT      221

About the Contributors      233

Bibliography      237

Index      249