Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Myths of the Underworld in Contemporary CultureThe Backward Gaze$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Judith Fletcher

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198767091.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2020



(p.201) Epilogue
Myths of the Underworld in Contemporary Culture

Judith Fletcher

Oxford University Press

Gathering together common themes from works by Barth, Gaiman, Byatt, Selick, Ferrante, Morrison, Bloom, Rushdie, and Patchett, a brief Conclusion reflects on the ubiquity of the descent motif and its status as a literary space in the context of postmodernism’s critiques of the canon. Underworld mythology lends itself to postmodern interrogations of authenticity, history, and authorial proprietorship. Further uses of the underworld tradition include artist Anish Kapoor’s “Descent into Limbo,” Oliver Sacks’ memoir Awakenings, Andrew Sean Greer’s novel Less, and Louise Glück’s Averno. The Other Worlds imagined in catabatic fiction contribute to these themes with implied correspondences between dreams and ghosts.

Keywords:   descent to underworld, catabasis, postmodern underworlds, Andrew Sean Greer’s Less, Louise Glück’s Averno

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .