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Category: Research, Non-fiction(6/13)




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Title: THE FANTASTIC AND THE FEMININE

Author: Peter Milward

Category: Research, Non-fiction
Number of pages: 116
Size: A5

Language: English

Format








 


Book Summary

This book consists of two parallel parts, related to each other not only by the alliteration with F and the mystical number 7, but also by the natural aptitude of Woman for Fantasy. To begin with Fantasy, one may distinguish seven ages in the historical development of that genre of literature known as "fantasy", which has come to a climax in the form of children's literature in England. Similarly, one may distinguish another series of seven ages concerning the place of Woman in world history and literature, considering it is only in the last two centuries that women have come into their own both in history and in literature.

Author Profile

Peter Milward was born in London on October 12, 1925, and educated at Wimbledon College (a Jesuit high school). He entered the Society of Jesus in 1943, and after various studies he went on to specialize in the Classics and English at Oxford University. He came to Japan in 1954 and after further studies was ordained priest in 1960. From 1962 onwards he has taught English literature at Sophia University in Tokyo. In addition to founding the Renaissance Institute, the Hopkins Society of Japan and the Chesterton Society of Japan, he has published some 400 books, mostly as textbooks for Japanese students, many of them translated into Japanese, but now most of them out of print. Several of his books, especially those on the drama of Shakespeare and the poetry of Hopkins, have been published in England and America. Even in retirement he is still teaching and writing, as he enters his 88th year (or beiju).

From the Author

Since coming to Japan and teaching English literature to university students, I have been impressed by two things. One is that the majority of those students in the faculty of literature have been women, conspicuous as well for beauty as for intelligence. As Shakespeare asks, “Who is Sylvia?" and he goes on to answer, “Holy, fair, and wise is she." The other is that most of those students are specially interested in the fantasy to be found in children's literature, as produced in considerable quantity by English authors from the time of Beatrix Potter (author of Peter Rabbit) onwards. Then, from these two things, as premisses, I draw the conclusion that Japan itself is a kind of elfland or fairyland, as Shakespeare shows us in his Midsummer Night's Dream. Also in his companion drama The Tempest, he draws the parallel conclusion concerning human life, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and this our little life is rounded with a sleep."
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