The Modern Literary Werewolf

A Critical Study of the Mutable Motif


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About the Book

Throughout history, from at least as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh, mankind has shown a fascination with physical transformation—especially that of humans into animals. Tales of such transformations appear in every culture across the course of history. They have been featured in the Western world in the work of such authors as Ovid, Petronius, Marie de France, Saint Augustine, Jack Williamson, Charles de Lint, Charaline Harris, Terry Pratchett, and J. K. Rowling.

This book approaches werewolves as representations of a proposed shape-shifter archetype, examining, with reference to earlier sources, how and why the archetype has been employed in modern literature. Although the archetype is in a state of flux by its very definition, many common threads are linked throughout the literary landscape even as modern authors add, modify, and reinvent characteristics and meanings. This is especially true in the work of such authors examined in this book, many of whom have struck a chord with a wide range of readers and non-readers around the world. They seem to have tapped into something that affects their audiences on a subconscious level.

About the Author(s)

Brent A. Stypczynski is an independent scholar with specialties in medieval, YA, and fantasy literature. He is the author of multiple books, and his articles have appeared in Extrapolation and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Brent A. Stypczynski

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6965-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0354-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. It’s Only in Your Head 17
2. The Disc’s K-9 Unit 37
3. Wolf in Professor’s Clothing 72
4. Southern Wolves 107
5. Secondary Worlds and Wolf Cousins 136
6. Variety… 161
Final Thoughts 184
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 207
Index 213