Welsh Mythology and Folklore in Popular Culture

Essays on Adaptations in Literature, Film, Television and Digital Media

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About the Book

Examining how we interpret Welshness today, this volume brings together fourteen essays covering a full range of representations of Welsh mythology, folklore, and ritual in popular culture. Topics covered include the twentieth-century fantasy fiction of Evangeline Walton, the Welsh presence in the films of Walt Disney, Welshness in folk music, video games, and postmodern literature. Together, these interdisciplinary essays explore the ways that Welsh motifs have proliferated in this age of cultural cross-pollination, spreading worldwide the myths of one small British nation.

About the Author(s)

Audrey L. Becker is an assistant professor of English literature at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. She writes on the intersection between Renaissance literature and cultural studies.
Kristin Noone is an English instructor and Writing Center faculty at Irvine Valley College. Her research explores medievalism, adaptation, fantasy, and romance. She has published on subjects from Neil Gaiman’s many Beowulfs to depictions of witchcraft in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to Arthurian references in World of Warcraft. She lives in Chino, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Audrey L. Becker and Kristin Noone. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6170-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8725-7
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction: Re-Imagining Wales

AUDREY L. BECKER and KRISTIN NOONE      1

Celtic Studies and Modern Fantasy Literature

C.W. SULLIVAN III      9

“The Rough, Savage Strength of Earth”: Evangeline Walton’s Human Heroes and Mythic Spaces

KRISTIN NOONE      18

Branwen’s Shame: Voicing the Silent Feminine in Evangeline Walton’s The Children of Llyr

NICOLE A. THOMAS      30

Disavowing Maternity in Evangeline Walton’s The Virgin and the Swine: Fantasy Meets the Social Protest Fiction of the 1930s

DEBORAH HOOKER      42

“An Age-Old Memory”: Arthur Machen’s Celtic Redaction of the Welsh Revival in The Great Return

GEOFFREY REITER      61

Magical Goods, “Orphaned” Exchanges, Punishment and Power in the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi

SUSANA BROWER      81

The Hand at the Window: Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Colonial Trickster

JONATHAN EVANS and STEPHEN KNIGHT      91

An Irregular Union: Exploring the Welsh Connection to a Popular African-American Wedding Ritual

TYLER D. PARRY      108

Constructing Myth in Music: Heather Dale, King Arthur and “Culhwch and Olwen”

MEGAN MACALYSTRE      130

Torchwood’s “Spooky-Do’s”: A Popular Culture Perspective on Celtic Mythology

LYNNETTE R. PORTER      140

Everyday Magic: Howl’s Moving Castle and Fantasy as Sociopolitical Commentary

CAROLYNN E. WILCOX      160

Loosely Based: The Problems of Adaptation in Disney’s The Black Cauldron

JEFF HICKS      171

We’re Not in Cymru Anymore: What’s Really Happening in the Online Mabinogi

CLAY KINCHEN SMITH      182

Temporality, Teleology and the Mabinogi in the Twenty-First Century

AUDREY L. BECKER      195

Further Reading      213

About the Contributors      219

Index      221