HyperEpos:

Reviews

 

Having begun this section anew, trying to provide more exhaustive coverage, I'll ask for a little patience. A wide-ranging list of monograph-length epic texts and criticism is now available, categorized by date on the pages listed below, and alphabetically within individual years. Very few reviews have been transferred.

Thank you for your continuing comments and contributions.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Unbelievably Brief Reviews and/or Descriptions

Scholarship

New Editions, New Epics 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 
 
 
 

A.

  • Adams, Don. James Merrill's Poetic Quest. Greenwood Press. Psychological study of Merrill's symbolic system, focusing on Changing Light at Sandover.
  • Ahl, Frederick, and Hanna M. Roisman. The "Odyssey" Re-Formed. Cornell. The remaking of the epic within the context of the "original" audience's knowledge of myths and traditions. 

B 

  • Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination. Vital and useful theorist of orchestrated voices or heteroglot scripts, as well as the more popular notion of "carnival." Almost completely off-track about epic and about poetry more generally, around which he constructs a monological death-cult. But useful, nonetheless.
  • Bawden, Charles, ed. and trans. An Anthology of Mongolian Traditional Literature. Kegan Paul, 1999. Introduces Mongolian oral and written texts, from clans to Soviet dominance. Includes Histories, Legends, Didactic literature, Epics, Shamanistic Incantations, Folk-tales, Myths, Sino-Mongolian Prose Literature, Lyrics and Other Verse, and Reminiscences. Makes Mongolian traditions more widely available for the first time. Not inexpensive.
  • Bellamy, Elizabeth J. Translations of Power: Narcissism and the Unconscious. Cornell, 1992. PN 56.P92 B346 1992. Elegant but difficult Lacanian analysis of Renaissance epic and the translatio imperii.
  • Bentley, D. M. Mimic Fires: Accounts of Early Long Poems on Canadian History.1994. PR 9190.2.B46 1994.
  • Bernstein, Michael. The Tale of the Tribe: Ezra Pound and the Modern Verse Epic. PS 3531.082 C2836. Insightful discussion of modern verse epic and its continuation of earlier traditions as (in Pound's terms) "a long poem containing history." Particularly good on Charles Olson's Maximus, as well as on Pound himself.
  • Bhaba, Homi K. Nation and Narration. 1990. PN 56.N19 N38 1990. Postcolonial difficulties and delights of the marginalized, or better, those who become centralized by being marginalized, and . . . . Involved theoretical discussions, but useful and still courant.
  • Biebuyck, Daniel P., Kahombo C. Mateene, eds. and trans. The Mwindo Epic from the Banyanga (Zaire). University of California, 1989.
  • Blow, Douglas. Mirabile Dictu: Representations of the Marvelous in Medieval and Renaissance Epic. University of Michigan Press. Ambitious attempt to read the magic of Virgil, Dante, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Tasso, and Spenser.
  • Bradley, A. C. "The Long Poem in the Age of Wordsworth." Oxford Lectures on Poetry. 1908. London:  MacMillan, 1962: 177-205. Pleasantly short and readable classic on the many attempts and failures of the 19th century to provide a "poem of substance," one with a full Arnoldian "criticism of life."
  • Brown, Wallace Cable.  The Triumph of Form:  A Study of the Later Masters of the Heroic Couplet.  1948.  Reprint Westport, CT:  Greenwood Press, 1973.  An extended but worthwhile study of the couplet in the hands of Dryden, Pope, and other luminaries.  Points out the surprising flexibility of this "strictest and most limited of all verse forms.  Although not usually so considered, it is the smallest possible stanza; the next step must be blank verse.  Since it is the most rigid poetic form, it is the one from which the greatest variations are possible without destroying the basic pattern" (5). 
  • Butler, Samuel. The Authoress of the Odyssey.  1897. London:  Fifield, 1908.  The inimitable Butler proposes that the Odyssey was written by a woman, perhaps by Nausikaa herself. The occasionally enticing idea is picked up by Robert Graves in his pleasant novel, Homer's Daughter. The more specific Butler gets as to person, place, and time of composition, the less convincing his argument is. However, when he focuses on the many little oddities of the poem, as well as some of its overarching, thematic repetitions, I am sometimes persuaded. Butler constructs a poem full of powerful women, of women's domains, and a largely feminist one; but his Odyssey is an odd conflation of Victorian England and the archaic Greek world.

C 

  • Clark, John. A History of Epic Poetry. London:  1900. A tendentious, nationalist reading of the tradition.
  • Clarke, Howard W. The Art of the Odyssey. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:  Prentice-Hall, 1967. One of many "introductions" to the Odyssey. Opens with Fielding's famous description of it as "that eating poem." And indeed, the act of eating is referred to, on average, every fifteen lines.
  • Collins, Christopher. Authority Figures: Metaphors of Mastery From the "Iliad" to the Apocalypse. Rowman & Littlefield. Working with metaphors that promote accepting inequality and authority; Sarpedon, Eumaios, others in Homeric epic, the Aeneid, and other sources, including the Book of Revelations. 
  • Cook, Erwin F. The "Odyssey" in Athens: Myths of Cultural Origins. Cornell UP. Explores the Odyssey's creation of meaning through self-reference, reference to other epic traditions, and through its relation to Athenian civic ritual; argues less persuasively that the poem reached written form during the reign of Peisistratos (c 527 BCE).
  • Cook, Patrick J.  Milton, Spenser, and the Epic Tradition.  Aldershot:  Scholar Press, 1996.   John S. Pendergast's  Review 
  • Cross, Frank Moore. From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel. Johns Hopkins UP. Israelite kinship and divine covenants.

D 

  • Dixon, William MacNeile. English Epic and Heroic Poetry. London: 1912. A more focused vision of the English tradition, notable for its colorful prose, eccentric insights. Spenser's "licentious" and "irregular" verse, etc.
  • Dodds, E. R. The Greeks and the Irrational. Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1951. Classic study of Greek "psychology," parallel in many ways to his contemporary Bruno Snell's Discovery of Mind.
  • Doherty, Lillian Eileen. Siren Songs: Gender, Audiences, and Narrators in the "Odyssey." University of Michigan Press. Feminist reading of the Odyssey, noting the deep ambivalence toward women in Odysseus and in the text as a whole. 
  • DuBois, Page. History, Rhetorical Description, and the Epic: from Homer to Spenser. 1982. PN 1303.D82 1982. A steady and helpful discussion of ekphrastic description—the shields of Achilles and Aeneas, and, I think, the tapestries of Busirane in the Faerie Queene.

E 

  • Erickson, Wayne.  Mapping the Faerie Queene.  New York:  Garland, 1996.  John S. Pendergast's  Review.
  • Evans, J. Martin. Milton's Imperial Epic: "Paradise Lost" and the Discourse of Colonialism. Cornell UP. Connects Paradise Lost to New World colonialism.

F 

  • Falkner, Thomas M. The Poetics of Old Age in Greek Epic, Lyric, and Tragedy. University of Oklahoma Press. Examines the representation of old age in Iliad and Odyssey, Oedipus at Colonus, Sappho's lyrics. 
  • Finucci, Valeria. The Lady Vanishes:  Subjectivity and Representation in Castiglione and Ariosto. Stanford:  Stanford UP, 1992. Demonstrates the applicability of subjectivity to the study of Renaissance epic
  • Frakes, Jerold. Brides and Doom: Gender, Property, and Power in Medieval Women's Epic. 1994. PT 202.F73 1994. The first book length study to treat women's authorship of the German epics seriously. Focuses on Das Nibelungenlied and Kudrun.

G 

  • Garmonsway, G. N., and Jacqueline Simpson. Beowulf and its Analogues. New York:  Dutton, 1968. One of those wonderfully useful books that you didn't even know you needed until you ran across it. Collects (in reasonable translation) many Old Norse, Icelandic, and Germanic passages that provide a valuable synoptic reading for Beowulf. 
  • Gibson, Mary Ellis. Epic Reinvented: Ezra Pound and the Victorians. Cornell UP. Esthetics and politics in Pound's Cantos, especially in relation to Robert Browning and other Victorians, historians as well as poets.
  • Grossman, Marshall, ed. Aemilia Lanyer: Gender, Genre, and the Canon.  Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.  Joyce G. MacDonald's  Review.  High quality essays on the deep textured poet of Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum. Includes essays by Mueller and Lewalski.

H 

  • Hägin, Peter. The Epic Hero and the Decline of Heroic Poetry. 1967. Classic account of the epic after Milton, with helpful descriptions of the numerous not so good epics of the eighteenth century. Limited by its strict association of the epic with the conventionally heroic. I recall it as highly readable. 
  • Hale, Thomas A. Griots and Griottes: Masters of Words and Music. From the Travels of Ibn Battuta to Alex Haley's Roots. Indiana UP, 1998. In this book, Hale follows up on his earlier articles with a full chapter devoted to the almost unknown griottes, or female performers of epic and other oral genres. A substantial study of the preservers of oral tradition in West Africa from the 14th century to the present.
  • Hale, Thomas A. Scribe, Griot, and Novelist: Narrative Interpreters of the Songhay Empire. Followed by The Epic of Askia Mohammed Recounted by Nouhou Malio. University of Florida Press and Center for African Studies, 1990. Useful comparative study examining the variety of narrative techniques and possibilities discovered in (a) 16th & 17th century Arabic chronicles from Timbuktu, Mali, (b) a recently-recorded epic from Niger, and (c) a modern novel in French from Mali. 
  • Hamner, Richard D. Epic of the Dispossessed: Derek Walcott's "Omeros." University of Missouri Press. First full-length study of the Walcott's epic, to my knowledge. Available in paperback.
  • Harris, John R. Accidental Grandeur : A Defense of Narrative Vagueness in Ancient Epic Literature (Lang Classical Studies, Vol 1). 1989. An intriguing exploration of uncertainty and suggestiveness in its own right. All unknown oft passes for magnificent.
  • Hayley,William. An Essay on Epic Poetry. 1782.  Gainesville, FL:  Scholar's Facsimiles and Reprints, 1968. The rather imitable Hayley waxes eloquent in verse on this, the loftiest of genres.
  • Heath, Peter. The Thirsty Sword: Sirat Antar and the Arabic Popular Epic. University of Utah Press. Reads the popular Arabic epic of pre-Islamic poet and warrior Antar ibn Shaddad.
  • Heinze, Richard. Virgil's Epic Technique. Trans. Hazel and David Harvey Robinson. University of California, 1994. The eagerly awaited translation of Heinze's important work on Virgil.
  • Hershkowitz, Debra. The Madness of Epic: Reading Insanity From Homer to Statius. Oxford UP. Expensive but well-developed discussion of the use of madness in Homer, Virgil, etc
  • Hershkowitz, Debra. Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica: Abbreviated Voyages in Silver Latin Epic. Oxford UP, 1999. Looks at how the Roman poet shortchanges Jason and Medea, starting a long tradition of European retellings. 
  • Hiltebeitel, Alf. Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics: Draupadi Among Rajputs, Muslims, and Dalits. University of Chicago Press. Aims at revaluing relations between regional epic traditions and the Sanskrit classics Mahabharata and Ramayana. 

 

  • Javitch, Daniel. Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of Orland Furioso. Princeton, 1991. Reception history of Ariosto's romance epic and an exploration of the forces that confer canonical status. See Daniel Traister's Review
  • Joseph, Terri Brint. Ezra Pound's Epic Variations: The Cantos and Major Long Poems. National Poetry Foundation, 1995. According to John Espey, Joseph argues that "Ezra Pound shaped his poetics to achieve two dominant and related desires:
    the first was for a poetry of truth, of what he called 'exact registration.' The second goal, to free poetry from the arena of the purely aesthetic, which he regarded as an imprisoning marginalization, would restore poetry to its rightful place in society as a primary shaper of civilization. The first of these goals led Pound to a poetics based on the image, while the second impelled him toward the epic mode. Joseph explores this fundamental tension within Pound's poetics by following his progress from the short, imagistic poems of his earlier years toward the epic mode of The Cantos. Individual chapters on "Near Perigord," Homage to Sextus Propertius, and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley allow Joseph to explore this transition in depth. Ezra Pound's Epic Variations: The Cantos and Major Long Poems serves more than a single purpose. It provides a cogent introduction and discussion of three of Pound's most important poems of a certain length; it creates a frame for the consideration of Pound's entire corpus; it leads directly into an exploration and a reading of The Cantos; it never loses touch with the poems themselves. That Joseph achieves these ends tactfully and without resorting to jargon is her personal success and the reader's gratifying reward
    ."

  • Kamboureli, Smaro. On the Edge of Genre: The Contemporary Canadian Long Poem. Toronto: 

  • University of Toronto Press, 1991. Review Essay by Manina Jones
  • Karydas, Helen Pournara. Eurykleia and Her Successors: Female Figures of Authority in Greek Poetics. Rowman & Littlefield. Authoritative nurses in Greek epic and tragedy. 
  • Knapp, Bettina L. Women, Myth, and the Feminine Principle. SUNY Press. Discusses women's representation in a variety of sources: epic poems, religious writings, sacred tales,etc.; actually includes discussion of the Tibetan myth Gesar of Ling and the Popul Vuh. 

L 

  • Lateiner, Donald. Sardonic Smile: Nonverbal Behavior in Homeric Epic. University of Michigan Press. What we've needed since the Parry-Lord theory was proposed, closer attention to the use of gestures, posture, and other non-verbal behaviors in Homeric epic.
  • Lau, Beth. Keats's "Paradise Lost." University Press of Florida. Generously presents an edition of Keatsian marginalia from his personal Milton.
  • Lawrence, William W. Beowulf and Epic Tradition. New York:  Hafner, 1963. Tries to fit the recalcitrant Anglo-Saxon poem in with the rest of the tradition
  • Looney, Dennis. Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance. Wayne State University Press. Explores classical and other traditions in Ariosto, Boiardo and Tasso.
  • Louden, Bruce. The "Odyssey": Structure, Narration, and Meaning. Johns Hopkins UP. Looks at a number of tripartite motifs to claim that the poem was transmittedwhole, not reconstructed from smaller poems. I'm not sure that such a common folkloric structure, and its familiar microstructural role as a tricolon really vitiates the possible counterargument.

  • Mackie, Hilary. Talking Trojan: Speech and Community in the "Iliad." Rowman & Littlefield. Examines Greek and Trojan speech to construct cultural differences. Interesting follow-up to Parry and Redfield.
  • McWilliams, John P. The American Epic : Transforming a Genre, 1770-1860. Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture. 1990. Well-researched study of the genre from Dwight and Barlow up to Melville.
  • Maley, Willy. Salvaging Spenser: Colonialism, Culture and Identity.  New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. Christopher Ivic's Review.
  • Maresca, Thomas.Three English Epics. 1979. One of the earliest arguments for the psychological centrality to the genre of the descensus ad inferos, looking, interestingly enough, at Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde as well as Spenser and Milton.
  • Martin, Catherine Gimelli.  The Ruins of Allegory:  Paradise Lost and the Metamorphosis of Epic Convention.  Duke UP.  1998. Focuses on the translatio imperii, presenting Milton's epic as "meta-allegory" foretelling the end of one culture and heralding its relief.
  • Miller, Dean A. The Epic Hero. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 2000. A big book (520 pages) attempting to eclipse the many studies of the epic hero. A wide range—Odysseus, Beowulf, Mahabharata, Arthurian legend, Ossetian tales—and (per the blurb) a "detailed typology of the hero in western myth: birth, parentage, familial ties, sexuality, character, deeds, death, and afterlife." Hero (famliarly) as ego-ideal or affirmative product of social, cultural imagination. Substantial scholarship. 
  • Miller, James A. American Quest for a Supreme Fiction: Whitman's Legacy in the Personal Epic. PS 3236.M5. Groundbreaking assessment and exploration of American epic, limited by the idea of the "personal" and by its avoidance of similar shifts in epic in earlier times and across the Atlantic. 
  • Monteiro, George. The Presence of Camoes: Influences on the Literature of England, America, and Southern Africa. University Press of Kentucky. Influence of Camoes and his Lusiads on many, but particularly on the Americans: Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Montgomery, Thomas.  Medieval Spanish Epic:  Mythic Roots and Ritual Language.  Penn State Press.  1998. Explores the adaptation of the young warrior's initiation myth in medieval Spanish epic: Siete Infantes de Lara, Mocedades de Rodrigo, and the inevitable Poema de Mio Cid
  • Moretti, Franco.  Modern Epic:  The World System from Goethe to Garcia Marquez.  Trans. Quentin Hoare.  London:  Verso, 1996.   Eduardo Gonzalez - Review Essay:  MLN 112:5 
  • Mori, Masaki. Epic Grandeur: Toward a Comparative Poetics of the Epic. SUNY Press, 1997. Argues (correctly) that the genre has moved away from its focus on war; later chapters develop Keats's The Fall of Hyperion and Miyazawa Kenji's Night on the Galaxy Railroad as "transitional epics," a term which undervalues the continuing process of generic change.
  • Muellner, Leonard. The Anger of Achilles: "Menis" in Greek Epic. Cornell University Press. A thorough reading of mythic, poetic, and social aspects of menis, perhaps the most important word of the Iliad. 
  • Murrin, Michael. History and Warfare in Renaissance Epic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. James Loxley's Review.

N 

  • Nagy, Gregory. Homeric Questions. University of Texas Press. 1997. Nagy tries to reconstruct the evolution of the Homeric epic on the basis of relatively contemporary oral epic traditions. 
  • Newman, John Kevin. The Classical Epic Tradition. 1986. Substantial study of Homeric beginnings, and on the repeated Callimachean strategies and attitudes of later Greek and Roman epic. There was the Iliad, and then everyone else wrote footnotes to it, as Johnson suggested.
  • Niles, John D. Homo Narrans: The Poetics and Anthropology of Oral Literature. Johns Hopkins, 1999. Aside from the unfortunate oxymoron in the subtitle, an engaging exploration of the "storytelling animal," in Anglo-Saxon, in 20th-century Scottish traditions, in early Greece and the Grimm brothers' Germany. Stories are the chief basis of culture, Niles claims. It's good to hear this tenet affirmed by someone else. A pleasure to read, as with most of Niles's work.

O 

  • Oberhelman, Van Kelly, and Golsan. Epic and Epoch: Essays on the History and Interpretation of a Genre. 1994. PN 1303.E59 1994. Uneven collection, using a wide range of definitions.

P 

  • Parks, Ward. Verbal Dueling in Heroic Narrative:  The Homeric and Old English Traditions. Princeton:  Princeton UP, 1990. The most thorough study of 'flyting' or the war of words—like that between Beowulf and Unferth—to date.
  • Pavlock, Barbara. Eros, Imitation, and the Epic Tradition. Cornell, 1990. PA 3022.E6 P38 1990. Ambitious range but less depth in this moderately slender, moderately theorized study. 
  • Pearce, Roy Harvey.  Continuity of American Poetry.  1961. See especially his first section on "The Long View:  An American Epic," which looks at the magniloquent Barlow, among others, to discuss the formation of a "plotless epic," one which creates rather than celebrates a hero.
  • Pemberton, Henry. Observations on poetry : especially the epic : occasioned by the late poem upon Leonidas. London : Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1994. Reprint of Pemberton's (1738) comments on Richard Glover's Leonidas (and other epics). 
  • Piper, William Bowman.  The Heroic Couplet.  Cleveland:  Case Western Reserve UP, 1969.   More historical interest than Brown's work on the couplet, this one begins with Chaucer, Gavin Douglas' Eneados, Spenser's tale of Mother Hubberd.  Though he claims it was "degraded and rejected" by the Romantic poets (4), Piper demonstrates clearly enough that everyone else loves a good heroic couplet.

Q 

  • Quint, David. Epic and Empire: Politics and Generic Form from Vergil to Milton. 1993. PN 1303.Q56 1993. One of the more popular, readable, and useful texts on epic in recent years, with straightfoward discussions of individual poems, including (briefly) the Ossianic epics of James Macpherson. Limited by the simplistic division of "winner's epics" and "loser's epic," but a good read.

R 

  • Rajan, Balachandra. The Form of the Unfinished. With Thomas McFarland, one of the earliest writers to tackle the difficult problematic of the fragment as a genre or form; his chapters on "The Major Unfinished" are most pertinent to this page, as he examines Spenser and (puzzlingly) Milton, moving on up to Eliot and—to a lesser extent—Pound.
  • Rubino, Carl A. and Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, eds. Approaches to Homer. Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1983. A number of engaging essays, including the fascinating "Odysseus and Cyclops: Who is Who?" 

S 

  • Sauer, Elizabeth. Barbarous Dissonance and Images of Voice in Milton's Epics. McGill-Queen's University Press. Evaluates the authority of the many voices in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
  • Schneider, Steven P., ed. Complexities of Motion: New Essays on A.R. Ammons's Long Poems. Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1998. Several sharply conceived essays, many launching from from the newer branches of complexity studies (or "chaos theory"). Significant names, including Miriam Clark, Marjorie Perloff, Helen Vendler, and others, reading Garbage,Briefings, the relatively recent (1997) Glare and the Tape for the Turn of the Year that started it all (1965).
  • Schulman, James L. "The Pale Cast of Thought": Hesitation and Decision in the Renaissance Epic. University of Delaware Press. Studies moments of heroic decision (and indecision) in Ariosto, Tasso, Spenser, and Milton.
  • Stevenson, Kay Gilliland, and Margaret Seares. Paradise Lost in Short: Smith, Stillingfleet, and the Transformation of the Epic. Fairleigh Dickinson UP. Reading the operatic adaptations of Milton's Paradise Lost.
  • Suzuki, Mihoko. Metamorphoses of Helen: Authority, Difference, and the Epic. 1989. PA 3015.R5 H377 1989. Follows the representation of woman as ideal/scape-goat of male fantasy, particularly as a way poets differentiate themselves from their precursors. Personally, I was disappointed to see the book follow "avatars" of Helen (in Dido, in Britomart, in Shakespeare's Cressida) rather than Helen herself.

T 

  • Tillyard, E.M.W. The English Epic and its Background. Classic definition of epic and the "epic spirit," in texts at least as as diverse as Piers Plowman and Shakespeare's History plays. Eminently readable, eminently a product of its time (as are we all).
  • Treip, Mindele Anne. Allegorical Poetics and the Epic: The Renaissance Tradition to Paradise Lost. Lexington: Kentucky, 1994. C.D. Jago's Review.

V 

  • Van Nortwick, Thomas. Somewhere I Have Never Travelled: The Second Self and the Hero's Journey in Ancient Epic. 1992. PA 3022.E6 V36 1992. Bright, self-aware study of Gilgamesh and other early epic. Happily makes you want to read the poems again, more roundly.

  • de Weever, Jacqueline. Sheba's Daughters: Whitening and Demonizing the Saracen Woman in Medieval French Epic. Garland. Much needed study of the contradictory images of Saracen women: their fathers are "black devils" in the medieval epics but they themselves are recuperated or "whitened" as the potential lady-loves of the Christian knights.
  • Wilhelm, James J. Dante and Pound: The Epic of Judgement. National Poetry Foundation, 1974. A comparative study of the life and work of Dante and Pound.
  • Wilhelm, James J. Il Miglior Fabbro. National Poetry Foundation, 1982. Comparative study of Arnaut Daniel, Dante Alighieri, and Ezra Pound, centered on the question, "Why did these poets write such difficult verse?"
  • Wilkie, Brian. Romantic Poets and Epic Tradition. PR 590.W4. A classic, wonderfully readable study of some major Romantic epics, focusing on the internalization of the quest, the repetition and repudiation of key details and motifs from earlier epics as hallmarks of the genre in the nineteenth century. My favorite line, which I quote again and again, is that "to read the great epics in succession is like walking through a hall of mirrors."

  • Wofford, Susanne. The Choice of Achilles: The Ideology of Figure in the Epic. 1992. PR 2358.W6 1992. Substantial study of simile and its implications from Homer to Milton. Theoretically aware, historically capable. Stephen Nimis' book on the simile is oddly not in her bibliography.

Z 

  • Zeitlin, Froma I. Playing the Other: Gender and Society in Classical Greek Literature. University of Chicago Press. Gender relations divine and human in drama, epic, other genres. Available in paperback

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 
 
 
 
  • A 
  • Adventures of Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan: An Arab Folk Epic. Trans. Lena Jayyusi. Indiana UP. First English translation of Arabic epic composed between the 13th and 16th centuries; tells the story of a pre-Islamic king of Yemen.
  • The "Alexandreis" of Walter of Chatillon: A Twelfth-Century Epic. Trans. David Townsend. University of Pennsylvania Press. Yet another life of Alexander (one of the better ones), translated from the Latin. 
  • C 
  • The Legend of Queen Cama: Bodhiramsi's "Camadevivamsa," a Translation and Commentary. Trans. Donald K. Swearer and Sommai Premchit. SUNY Press. Translation and extensive commentary on the 15th-century epic of the founding of Haripunjaya, a 7th century Buddhist domain in northern Thailand.
  • E 
  • Epic of Askia Mohammed. Ed. and trans. Thomas A. Hale. Indiana UP. Translates the Askia Mohammed of the Songhay people. Askia ruled their empire from 1493 to 1528. And it's available in paperback!