Transmuting the mundane into transcendence : migrations of myth and its connection to contemporary comic books

Opperman, Susan (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates the human capacity of modifying established myth in the light of new circumstances. It focuses on the changing status of myth and mythical cosmologies in Western culture as advances in telematics and techno-culture has led to the abundant proliferation of mythic content in modern society. The rise of scientific, secular and rational tendencies in the Occident has resulted in the demystification and negation of some myths and the cultural realities they once supported. Mythical symbols, however, do exhibit a certain degree of independence from their original set ontologies, growing and transforming continuously within contemporary culture as they are communicated to all social spheres. A particular focus is placed on the demystification of myth and its ability to be appropriated within other discourses, most notably fiction. As such, myth tends to exhibit certain migratory and conservational qualities that this study investigates. This serves as background for this thesis that is primarily located within the broader theoretical argument of myth as a system of world-representation in society, the main point of discussion is the re-appropriation of myth within the narrower field of visual signification, specifically the comics medium, as exemplified in the works of Neil Gaiman and Conrad Botes, as well as in my own work.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis ondersoek die menslike kapasiteit om gevestigde mites te wysig in die lig van nuwe omstandighede. Dit fokus op die veranderlike status van mites en mitiese kosmologieë in die Westerse kultuur, aangesien vooruitgang in die telematiek en tegnokultuur gelei het tot ’n ryk proliferasie van mitiese inhoud in die moderne samelewing. Die opkoms van wetenskaplike, sekulêre en rasionele tendense in die Weste het die demistifikasie en negasie van sommige mites en kulturele realiteite wat hulle eens ondersteun het, tot gevolg gehad. Mitiese simbole vertoon egter ’n sekere graad van onafhanklikheid van hul oorspronklike vasgestelde ontologieë en groei wild binne die kontemporêre kultuur, aangesien hulle deurlopend gekommunikeer word aan verskillende sosiale sfere. Daar word veral gefokus op die demistifikasie van die mite en sy vermoë om geapproprieer te word binne ander diskoerse, veral in fiksie. As sodanig is mites geneig tot migrasie en die vertoon van konserverende kwaliteite, soos ondersoek in hierdie studie. Alhoewel die tesis eerstens gelokaliseer is binne die breër teoretiese argumentasie rondom mite as ’n sisteem van wêreldrepresentasie in die samelewing, is die kern van diskussie die re-appropriasie van die mite binne die smaller veld van visuele betekenisgewing, spesifiek in strippe as medium, soos uitgelig in die werke van Neil Gaiman en Conrad Botes, asook in my eie werk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6823
This item appears in the following collections: