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Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy$
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Brett M. Rogers and Benjamin Eldon Stevens

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610050

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610050.001.0001

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Aeneas’ American New World in Jo Graham’s Black Ships

Aeneas’ American New World in Jo Graham’s Black Ships

Chapter:
(p.290) 13 Aeneas’ American New World in Jo Graham’s Black Ships
Source:
Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy
Author(s):

Jennifer A. Rea

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610050.003.0014

Jennifer A. Rea, in “Aeneas’ American New World in Jo Graham’s Black Ships,” emphasizes the potential political ramifications of classical reception in modern fantasy by examining how Graham’s novel, a reimagining of Virgil’s Aeneid, invites readers to question the prohibitively high price to be paid for the ‘American Dream.’ Rea argues that Graham offers in Black Ships a critique of the optimistic ‘American’ ending as an impossible goal in a society that is preoccupied with post-war homeland security. Black Ships thus exemplifies the potential for classically receptive modern fantasy to raise urgent questions about contemporary ‘fantasies’ or cultural fictions about freedom—including the freedom to invent one’s own destiny.

Keywords:   Aeneid, American dream, Black Ships, Freedom, fantasies of, Graham, Jo, Virgil

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