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The cradle of whose civilisation? : reading the Theseus myth in Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Ottley’s Requiem for a Beast

Hateley, Erica (2011) The cradle of whose civilisation? : reading the Theseus myth in Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Ottley’s Requiem for a Beast. In Revolt, Rebellion, Protest : Change and Insurrection in Children’s Literature; Children's Literature Association (ChLA) Conference 2011, 23-25 June 2011, Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper considers the functions of Greek mythology in general and the “Theseus and the Minotaur” myth in particular in two contemporary texts of adolescent masculinity: Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (2005-2009) and Matt Ottley’s Requiem for a Beast: A Work for Image, Word and Music (2007). These texts reveal the ongoing flexibility of mythic texts to be pressed into service of shoring up or challenging currently hegemonic ideologies of self and state.

Both Riordan and Ottley make a variety of intertextual uses of classical hero plots in order to facilitate their own narrative explorations of contemporary adolescent men ‘coming of age’. These intertextual gestures might easily be read as gestures of alignment with narrative traditions and authority which simultaneously confer “legitimacy” on Riordan and Ottley, on their texts, and by extension, on their readers. However, when read in juxtaposition, it is clear that Riordan and Ottley may use classical mythology to articulate similarly gendered adolescence, they produce divergent visions of nationed adolescence.

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ID Code: 42339
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: children's literature, picture books, minotaur
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500) > Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) (200502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500) > Literary Studies not elsewhere classified (200599)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Erica Hateley
Deposited On: 04 Jul 2011 13:16
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2011 02:52

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