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Title: A Web of Words: Pattern and Meaning in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
Contributor(s): Attrill, Heather Anne  (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: A phenomenon characteristic of late twentieth-century high fantasy literature is the writing of sprawling 'history rich' and philosophically complex stories that span many volumes. Perhaps it is because of the sheer size of such works that, to date, a writer such as the American, Robert Jordan (1948-2007) and his widely acclaimed and ongoing high fantasy series 'The Wheel of Time', have attracted only a limited amount of critical scrutiny. With more than 44 million books in print throughout the world and translations currently in over 25 languages, Jordan has obviously attracted enormous global appeal in little more than two decades. Indeed, during the last twenty years, his work has generated a trans-global following of fans who have spawned a burgeoning network of web sites, virtual-communities devoted to the 'WOT' series. Such cyber-extensions of the written (as opposed to other media) texts represent a type of never-ending story and are a new and fascinating aspect of literary work and fandom that also, to-date, has received but little critical attention, although initial interest has increased in recent years, especially in pop-culture areas. I use Robert Jordan's 'WOT' sequence as the focus texts to explore the role of both the writer of fantasy, and the role of his online following of fans as storytellers and pattern makers, and the motif of patterning in the novels. Jordan's epic 'WOT' sequence is worthy of study also because he enacts the dilemmas and challenges of the contemporary 'second-wave' fantasists. I use this term, in particular, to distinguish those authors who began to create their high fantasy cycles in the latter years of the twentieth century. Thus, they follow in the footsteps of earlier renowned fantasy authors such as Ursula Le Guin, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, Alan Garner, Diana Wynne Jones, Stephen Donaldson and many others. All of these, from the late 1950s on, were writing in the wake of C. S. Lewis's 'Narnia' books and J. R. R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and, in particular his benchmark fantasy text 'The Lord of the Rings'. The Sources for the intricately tangled 'web of story' are indeed vast.
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: Fastnet Books
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 9780987171245
Field of Research (FOR): 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 223
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 313
Views: 319
Downloads: 2
Appears in Collections:Book

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