Pan i Londons gader. Hvorfor genopstod en græsk naturgud for en kort periode i Storbritannien?
This topological study aims to discover how the Greek god Pan came to emerge from the metaphorical graveyard of forgotten fantasies and into late Victorian fiction depicting contemporary scenes, and the reasons for his presence. The motif of ‘Pan versus humanity’ takes center stage and is followed through a series of representational texts from Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan from 1894, over E. F. Bensons “The Man Who Went Too Far” from 1904 and Algernon Blackwood’s “The Touch of Pan” from 1917 to one of its final depictions in Stephen McKenna’s novel The Oldest God from 1926. It is shown that as Pan came to represent the repressed as both biological and historical past, the specific meaning ascribed to the meeting with the god changed in relation to cultural and historical developments. With the appearance and disappearance of Pan the rise and fall of shared modern fantasies are revealed. From a bigger perspective, the analysis is an example of the usefulness of the topological method in illuminating cultural history through the rising and waning popularity of literary configurations.
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