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 in Southern California. 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 is also a published author of romance and fantasy fiction.

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