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Fantasy in graves's fiction

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Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Posts: 8
Location: Swansea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 9:58 am    Post subject: Fantasy in graves's fiction Reply with quote

Yes, i think graves is more or less accurate but it depends what aspect you look at- he's very good with with factual information, with the historical groundwork - clearly Graves has done his homework with the novels and criticism that I've managed to read - the Claudius novels, the Greek Myths, King Jesus, but graves's skill is to breathe life into history and this involves finding connective tissue between different factual elements. I think Graves is (famously) succesful in doing this in the Claudian novels but King Jesus smacks of too much effort (!) - too much Graves and less actual history! (perhaps thats why I like it a lot) Coming back to TWG, my personal favourite, Grevel lindop's recent excellent intro points out that it is barely disguised autobiography. The fact remains that in this text, Graves relies heavily on outdated scholarship and historical intuition. It is an incredible feat of imagination - look at the gothic elements (The figure of the White Goddess herself, the numerous Vampires, blood suckers and monsters which come out of the past through the text) which definitely needs a look at. In the strictest sense of your question Graves is more accurate than innaccurate in his use of basic historical facts but can we take any of Graves's poetic fundamentalism, which is nearly always based on fantasy, seriously??? Would anyone like to comment on Graves as a fantasy writer? Surely this is the direction to go in in Gravesian criticism where there is a great deal of toing and froing on his historical accuracy. Matt Smith.
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