Научная статья на тему 'The remythologization of the Trojan War in postmodern literature'

The remythologization of the Trojan War in postmodern literature Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Ключевые слова
МИФ / ДРЕВНЕГРЕЧЕСКАЯ МИФОЛОГИЯ / ТРОЯНСКАЯ ВОЙНА / ИЛИАДА / ДЭВИД ГЕММЕЛ / РЕМИФОЛОГИЗАЦИЯ / ЛИТЕРАТУРА ПОСТМОДЕРНИЗМА / МИРОВАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА / ИНТЕРПРЕТАЦИЯ / ОБРАЗ

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Anisimov Andrey Borisovich

The myths of Ancient Greece are a huge cultural stratum, which still stirs the minds of not only historians and archaeologists, but also writers and poets. This article focuses on the representation of the Trojan War in postmodern literature. The current research objectives are to consider the representation of the Trojan War in world literature ranging from classical and medieval literature to contemporary postmodern literature, to analyse David Gemmell’s Troy trilogy within the framework of reimagining the myth of the Trojan War in postmodern literature. The subject of research is David Gemmell’s Troy Series and a number of the literary works of world literature in which the ancient myths of the Trojan War are represented to a greater or lesser extent. In the paper, we have used the cultural-historical and comparative-typological methods. The most detailed account of the events of the Trojan War is contained in The Iliad and The Odyssey. In the XIX c., some French poets and writers turn to the Trojan myth. Based on the general trends traced in the formation of modern literature, the myth of the Trojan War is actively used by writers throughout the world. This myth is ambiguously embodied in the works of various postmodern authors. The genres of the postmodern interpretation of the Trojan War are quite diverse. They can be divided into pseudo-historical novels, adventure novels, women’s romantic novels, and fantasy fiction genre. In these novels, special attention is paid to the “humanization” of characters. In Gemmell’s Troy trilogy, all the demigods and legendary heroes are described from the human, realistic and even modern points of view. Despite the coincidence of the character traits between the mythological heroes and the characters of the Gemmell’s novels, the author interweaves the psychological features of the modern man with the images of ancient Greek characters. Therefore, the characters become more realistic. We can also see the feminist ideas in the novels. In the Western classical tradition, the authors paid particular attention to the outline of events, and it let the reader know about what emotional experience the characters had, and what internal changes occurred in them. However, many contemporary authors, reimagining the Trojan War period, focus on the inner world of the characters, their feelings and thoughts. We hope this paper will serve as a basis for further research on the process of remythologization in fiction.

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Ремифологизация троянской войны в литературе постмодернизма

Мифы Древней Греции представляют собой огромный культурный пласт, который до сих пор будоражит умы не только историков и археологов, но и писателей и поэтов. Данная статья посвящена вопросу ремифологизации Троянской войны в постмодернистской литературе. Основные задачи исследования рассмотреть репрезентацию Троянской войны в мировой литературе, начиная с античной и средневековой литературы и заканчивая современной постмодернистской литературой; проанализировать трилогию Дэвида Геммела «Троя» в контексте переосмысления троянского мифа в литературе постмодернизма. Предметом исследования выступают серия романов Д. Геммела «Троя» и ряд произведений мировой литературы, в которых в той или иной степени представлены мифы о Троянской войне. В статье использованы культурно-исторические и сравнительно-типологические методы. Наиболее подробно сохранившееся изложение событий Троянской войны содержится в поэмах Гомера «Илиада» и «Одиссея». В XIX в. к троянскому мифу обращаются ряд французских поэтов и писателей. На основании общих тенденций, прослеживаемых в формировании литературы нашего времени, миф о Троянской войне активно используется писателями по всему миру. Этот миф неоднозначно воплощается в творчестве разных писателей эпохи постмодернизма. Жанры постмодернистской интерпретации мифа о Троянской войне достаточно разнообразны. Их можно разделить на псевдоисторические романы, приключенческие романы, женские романтические романы, фантастику и фэнтези. В этих произведениях особое внимание уделяется «очеловечиванию» персонажей. В трилогии Дэвида Геммела «Троя» все полубоги и легендарные герои описаны с человеческой, реалистической и даже современной точек зрения. Несмотря на совпадение черт характера, между мифологическими героями и героями романов Геммеля автор переплетает психологические особенности современного человека с изображениями древнегреческих персонажей. Поэтому персонажи становятся более реалистичными. В романах мы также можем увидеть феминистские идеи. Если в классической традиции основное место отводилось событийной канве и через нее же читателю давали понять, какие переживания приходятся на долю героя и какие внутренние изменения происходят в нем, то многие современные произведения ставят в центр внимания внутренний мир персонажей, их чувства и размышления. Мы надеемся, что данная статья послужит основой для дальнейших исследований процесса ремифологизации в художественной литературе.

Текст научной работы на тему «The remythologization of the Trojan War in postmodern literature»

ФИЛОЛОГИЧЕСКИЕ НАУКИ

УДК 82.091

A. B. Anisimov

The Remythologization of the Trojan War in Postmodern Literature

M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia

Abstract. The myths of Ancient Greece are a huge cultural stratum, which still stirs the minds of not only historians and archaeologists, but also writers and poets. This article focuses on the representation of the Trojan War in postmodern literature. The current research objectives are to consider the representation of the Trojan War in world literature ranging from classical and medieval literature to contemporary postmodern literature, to analyse David Gemmell's Troy trilogy within the framework of reimagining the myth of the Trojan War in postmodern literature. The subject of research is David Gemmell's Troy Series and a number of the literary works of world literature in which the ancient myths of the Trojan War are represented to a greater or lesser extent. In the paper, we have used the cultural-historical and comparative-typological methods. The most detailed account of the events of the Trojan War is contained in The Iliad and The Odyssey. In the XIX c., some French poets and writers turn to the Trojan myth. Based on the general trends traced in the formation of modern literature, the myth of the Trojan War is actively used by writers throughout the world. This myth is ambiguously embodied in the works of various postmodern authors. The genres of the postmodern interpretation of the Trojan War are quite diverse. They can be divided into pseudo-historical novels, adventure novels, women's romantic novels, and fantasy fiction genre. In these novels, special attention is paid to the "humanization" of characters. In Gemmell's Troy trilogy, all the demigods and legendary heroes are described from the human, realistic and even modern points of view. Despite the coincidence of the character traits between the mythological heroes and the characters of the Gemmell's novels, the author interweaves the psychological features of the modern man with the images of ancient Greek characters. Therefore, the characters become more realistic. We can also see the feminist ideas in the novels. In the Western classical tradition, the authors paid particular attention to the outline of events, and it let the reader know about what emotional experience the characters had, and what internal changes occurred in them. However, many contemporary authors, reimagining the Trojan War period, focus on the inner world of the characters, their feelings and thoughts. We hope this paper will serve as a basis for further research on the process of remythologization in fiction.

АНИСИМОВ Андрей Борисович - к. филол. н., доц. каф. перевода Института зарубежной филологии и регионоведения СВФУ им. М.К. Аммосова. E-mail: anis_and@mail.ru

ANISIMOV Andrey Borisovich - Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Translation and Interpretation, Institute of Modern Languages and International Studies, M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.

Keywords: myth, ancient Greek mythology, the Trojan War, the Iliad, David Gemmell, remythologization, postmodern literature, world literature, interpretation, image.

DOI 10.25587/SVFU.2019.70.28406

А. Б. Анисимов

Ремифологизация Троянской войны в литературе постмодернизма

СВФУ им. М.К. Аммосова, г. Якутск, Россия

Аннотация. Мифы Древней Греции представляют собой огромный культурный пласт, который до сих пор будоражит умы не только историков и археологов, но и писателей и поэтов. Данная статья посвящена вопросу ремифологизации Троянской войны в постмодернистской литературе. Основные задачи исследования - рассмотреть репрезентацию Троянской войны в мировой литературе, начиная с античной и средневековой литературы и заканчивая современной постмодернистской литературой; проанализировать трилогию Дэвида Геммела «Троя» в контексте переосмысления троянского мифа в литературе постмодернизма. Предметом исследования выступают серия романов Д. Геммела «Троя» и ряд произведений мировой литературы, в которых в той или иной степени представлены мифы о Троянской войне. В статье использованы культурно-исторические и сравнительно-типологические методы. Наиболее подробно сохранившееся изложение событий Троянской войны содержится в поэмах Гомера «Илиада» и «Одиссея». В XIX в. к троянскому мифу обращаются ряд французских поэтов и писателей. На основании общих тенденций, прослеживаемых в формировании литературы нашего времени, миф о Троянской войне активно используется писателями по всему миру. Этот миф неоднозначно воплощается в творчестве разных писателей эпохи постмодернизма. Жанры постмодернистской интерпретации мифа о Троянской войне достаточно разнообразны. Их можно разделить на псевдоисторические романы, приключенческие романы, женские романтические романы, фантастику и фэнтези. В этих произведениях особое внимание уделяется «очеловечиванию» персонажей. В трилогии Дэвида Геммела «Троя» все полубоги и легендарные герои описаны с человеческой, реалистической и даже современной точек зрения. Несмотря на совпадение черт характера, между мифологическими героями и героями романов Геммеля автор переплетает психологические особенности современного человека с изображениями древнегреческих персонажей. Поэтому персонажи становятся более реалистичными. В романах мы также можем увидеть феминистские идеи. Если в классической традиции основное место отводилось событийной канве и через нее же читателю давали понять, какие переживания приходятся на долю героя и какие внутренние изменения происходят в нем, то многие современные произведения ставят в центр внимания внутренний мир персонажей, их чувства и размышления. Мы надеемся, что данная статья послужит основой для дальнейших исследований процесса ремифологизации в художественной литературе.

Ключевые слова: миф, древнегреческая мифология, Троянская война, Илиада, Дэвид Геммел, ремифологизация, литература постмодернизма, мировая литература, интерпретация, образ.

1. Introduction

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War began after the abduction of Queen Helen of Sparta by Prince Paris of Troy. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology. The story of the Trojan War straddles the history and mythology of Ancient Greece and inspires the greatest writers of antiquity (Homer, Herodotus, Sophocles, Virgil). Information about the Greek tradition of the Trojan War was confirmed during the excavations of Troy.

The tales of the Trojan War were common in Ancient Greece before the addition of the Homeric epic. This is proved by the fact that Homer wanted to make his listeners aware of these legends and implicitly hoped that they had known Achilles, Odysseus, Hector, Agamemnon and other heroes.

A Romanian culture expert and philosopher Mircea Eliade points out that 'myth means a 'true story' and, beyond that, a story that is a most precious possession because it is sacred, exemplary, significant <...>'. He indicates that the word 'myth' is employed in 'the sense of sacred tradition, primordial revelation, exemplary model' [1, p. 1]. Thus, we can say that the myth of the Trojan War is so deeply ingrained in the mind symbolizing one of the most famous and large-scale wars in the history of mankind. According to M. Eliade, 'the collective memory is ahistorical, transforming specific historical individuals and events into exemplary, transhistorical categories and meanings. Specific historical figures and events are assimilated to mythic models, such as the paradigmatic mythic narrative of the mythic hero fighting with the monster. This process of mythicization discloses the structures of the dialectic of the sacred and the profane, as seen in the dialectical movement in which limited, finite, historical phenomena seek to realize their deeper, exemplary, transhistorical meanings' [2, p. 62].

The revival of interest in myth, in the specificity of the mythological worldview, is observed in world culture in the second half of the 20th century. It is quite clear that the awareness of cultural crisis as a crisis of civilization, the desire of postmodern literature to comprehend the crisis phenomena occurring in the spiritual, social, cultural life of the world, have intensified attempts to form a new model of the world and to perceive it. Myth, due to its primordial symbolism, is a convenient language to describe eternal patterns of personal and social behaviour. The term 'remythologization' means reinterpretation of a new or different mythology where the action provides a new mythological basis.

2. Study material and methods

The current research objectives are to consider the representation of the Trojan War in world literature ranging from classical and medieval literature to contemporary postmodern literature, to analyse David Gemmell's Troy trilogy within the framework of reimagining the myth of the Trojan War in postmodern literature.

The subject of research is David Gemmell's Troy Series and a number of the literary works of world literature in which the ancient myth of the Trojan War is represented to a greater or lesser extent. In the paper, we have used the cultural-historical and comparative-typological methods.

3. The myth of the Trojan War in classical and medieval literature

First of all, it should be noted that the term 'classical literature' generally refers to the literature of Ancient Greece and the Golden and Silver Ages of Rome. The disparate parts of the tales of the Trojan War are dated in different centuries and created by various authors. These parts represent an incoherent combination of historical truth and myth. In the course of time, the desire to arouse readers' interest by the originality in storytelling encouraged the authors to introduce new heroes to the tales. According to some scholars, such heroes of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey as Aeneas, Sarpedon, Glaucus, Diomedes, Odysseus and some minor characters are completely alien to the oldest version of the myth of the Trojan War. For example, an Amazonian queen Penthesilea, an Ethiopian king Memnon, Greek heroes Telephus and Neoptolemus were later included in the myth of the Trojan War [3, p. 102].

The most detailed account of the events of the Trojan War is contained in The Iliad and The Odyssey. The Iliad tells about the battles and events during the Trojan War. The Odyssey mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy.

The Trojan Cycle is a powerful and abundant source of plots, motifs, images and ideas for Ancient Greek and Roman literature. Let us call at least the main, world-famous literary works

of Antiquity in which there is a legacy of the myth of the Trojan War. They are The Theogony, a poem by Hesiod (8th -7th century BC); the trilogy The Oresteia (458 BC) by Aeschylus, consisting of tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi), and The Eumenides.

Along with The Iliad, the events of the Trojan War were reflected in the 'cyclic' poems (7th - 6th c.) that have been lost, but they were known in later retellings. They are Ethiopida, The Ilioupersis (Destruction of Ilion), The Little Iliad. The events of the Trojan War were used by Virgil in The Aeneid Book 2 and by Quintus of Smyrna (4th c. AD), a Greek epic poet, whose Posthomerica, following 'after Homer' continues the narration of the Trojan War. Among the tragedies of the fifth c. BC narrating the event of the fall of Troy, we can mention The Trojan Women (Troades) by the Greek playwright Euripides [4, p. 22]. An ancient Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil, wrote a Latin epic poem The Aeneid (between 29 and 19 BC). The epic tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans.

R. V. Gordeziani in his book The Issues of Homeric Epics gives an interesting point of view expressed by J. H. Pestalozzi for the first time and developed by Ioannis Kakridis and Wolfgang Schadewaldt: 'The Iliad borrows only motifs from the ancient Greek tradition, not parts and elements of epic poems' [5, p. 27]. In accordance with his conception, Homer modified the well-known motif and interpreted it in a completely different way. Thus, The Iliad almost entirely uses the mythological basis of the Cyclic poem Ethiopida, but it is difficult to notice on the face of it.

According to the Neoanalysts, even Hector and Patroclus are an artistic transfiguration of the mythological heroes Memnon and Antilochus [5, p. 28]. Some events from Ethiopida were modified and used in the The Iliad. The Iliad is traditionally dated to around the 8th c. BC, and the earliest Cyclic poem Ethiopida was created at the turn of 8th - 7th c. BC. This fact is taken into account by a number of Neoanalysts who assume that The Iliad borrows the motifs not from Cyclic poems, but from the ancient tradition [5, p. 29]. We are talking about the ancient poems that were supposed to bring the events of the Trojan War to Homer's era. But if we assume the presence of such sources, new difficulties will arise related to the establishment of the form, volume, plotlines, and the reality of the hypothetical pre-Homeric poems. All this causes the recent critical attitude to the theory of Neoanalysts [6, p. 20].

The plot of the Trojan War myth is widely reflected in medieval European literatures: romances and poems based on this plot were written and printed in Italy, Germany, France and Poland from the beginning of the 15th c. In medieval Europe, the Trojan War epic was best known not for Homer's poems and the works of his successors - the Greek authors of the 7th - 6th c. BC., but for pseudo-historical romances of the alleged participants in the Trojan War - Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius. These pseudo-historical romances gave birth to Le Roman de Troie (The Romance of Troy, 12th c.) by the French poet Benoît de Sainte-Maure, a prose narrative of the Trojan War entitled Historia destructionis Troiae (History of the destruction of Troy, 13th c.) by a Italian judge and writer Guido delle Colonne, and the 15th-century Slavic romance Tales of creation and capture of Troy [7, p. 63]. For example, Historia destructionis Troiae that was written in the 1270s has survived to us in more than 90 versions. In the 15th c., at the dawn of Western typography, this romance was repeatedly published, for example, in Strasbourg and Bologna. One of these publications came to Russia, and at the turn of the 15th - 16th c., the romance was translated into Russian. Russian translations of the Trojan cycle romances expanded the cultural, literary and aesthetic outlook of the Russia's inhabitants. Russian readers got acquainted with the myths of Jason and Medea, Helen and Paris of Troy, Achilles and Hector, Odysseus and Agamemnon, Priam and Hekaba. However, the most important thing is that, through the romances of the Trojan cycle, the theme of earthly and carnal love entered Russian literature. In the romances of the Trojan cycle, a considerable place is occupied by the description of sensual love. Paris of Troy, captivated by the beauty of Helen, abducts her. Medea falls in love with Jason and cannot restrain her passion for him.

4. The myth of the Trojan War in literature of later periods

Antique mythological symbols and allegories from Hellenic bucolic lyricism (Arcadian landscape, spirits of nature, nymphs, dryads, shepherds, innocent maidens, groves, brooks, flutes, quietly splashing waves, cattle grazing in the meadow, etc.) acquired the status of mystical signs in the poems of French poets. These mythological symbols and allegories were mixed with such romantic symbols as 'mystery', 'rock', 'nature', 'soul', spirit', 'man', 'atom', 'universe' [6, p. 21]. Alfred de Vigny's classical poems, Charles Nodier's dream writings, Alphonse de Lamartine's poetical meditations, Victor Hugo's ballads and collection of poems Les Orientales, Aloysius Bertrand's grotesque poems were not fully understood and recognized by contemporaries. Symbolism can be called one of the first periods in the literature of the 19th - 20th c., where not only the plot of the myth, or the idea of mythology, but also (according to some researchers) mythological thinking is reproduced. The issue of belonging symbolism to mythological thinking is still controversial. Both Romanticism and Symbolism use mythological motifs in national literatures. For example, Yury Lotman and Boris Uspensky call the use of mythology in the symbolist novel descriptive rather than natural [8, p. 58].

In the 20th c. Jean Giraudoux, a French novelist and playwright, is considered the creator of the "mythological theatre". His plays are reinterpretations and modern treatments of Greek myths. The past is modernized; traditional plot structure is filled with the hints of modernity, while modernity hides behind the façade of the past. The comic effect of the relationship between the past and present is great. Jean Giraudoux's witty, originally expressed works in an impressionistic style helped free French theatre from the restrictions of realism. However, one should admit that Giraudoux is often obsessed with theatricalism [9]. In 1935 Giraudoux wrote his play The Trojan War will not take place (La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu). In 1955 the play was translated into English by Christopher Fry with the title Tiger at the Gates. The plot and characters are derived from Homer's Iliad and from the medieval Roman de Troie. Giraudoux presents the legendary characters of the myth - Helen, the daughter of Zeus and Leda, Paris of Troy who abducted Helen, Hector, Cassandra, etc. However, the legendary and mythological scenes are presented by means of funny dialogues, witty remarks and verbal duel. Within the framework of the Iliadic myth of the Trojan War, Giraudoux criticizes diplomacy and the behaviour of the national leaders and intellectuals who brought about World War I and the lead-up to World War II.

5. The reinterpretation of the Trojan War in postmodern literature

The characteristic feature of postmodern literature is the recognition of diversity of socio-political, ideological, spiritual, moral and aesthetic values. The aesthetics of postmodernism rejects the principle of interconnection between the artistic image and the reality that has already become traditional art. In postmodern culture, the objective reality is questioned.

Mythology, as one of the earliest tools of knowledge, gives philosophy the opportunity to get rid of conventional categories and to see the world in its original integrity. The desire to find naturalness and a new world vision is characteristic of remythologization in modern culture. With the development of the study of myth and mythmaking, the plots of myth are increasingly returning to literature in more concrete detail. Thus, postmodern literature is aimed at new mythmaking - the remythologization of cultural fragments.

Hans Erich Nossack, one of West Germany's most celebrated authors in the 1950s and early 1960s, wrote the novel Kassandra (1948) in which he innovatively recreates the ancient Greek parable presenting Telemachus, the son of Odyssey the Cunning, as a narrator. Throughout his life, Telemachus is tormented by the enigma of the Trojan princess who rejected Apollo's declaration of love and was murdered by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus [10, 260]. The German writer seeks to discover the features of reality in the mythological plot

psychologizing the legendary story that gains a strongly marked subjective-lyrical form and a complex spatiotemporal structure. This allows Hans Erich Nossack to emphasize the universality and archetypal history of Cassandra and avoid obvious parallelism between the Trojan War and the Second World War, between the fall of Ilion and Berlin, between the 'blindness' of ancient Greeks and ordinary people in Nazi Germany.

Henry Treece, a British poet and novelist, wrote a range of works but is mostly remembered as a writer of children's historical novels. One of his novels is Electra (1963). The novel is set in Ancient Greece. Treece's Electra reveals the private lives of Electra and Agamemnon, of Clytemnestra and Orestes. Written from Electra's point of view, the novel shows in action the many forces which contributed at last to the downfall of Mycenae's brilliant culture, and the coming of the Dorian Dark Age which was to last for five hundred years and more.

A German literary critic, novelist, and essayist Christa Wolf's most important book Kassandra (Cassandra) was published in 1983. This novel reinterprets the battle of Troy as a war for economic power and a shift from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society. First of all, Christa Wolf is concerned about the threat of war and nuclear catastrophe. The author gradually learns lessons of history from the immortal myth [11].

At the turn of the 19th and the 20th c. many authors interpreted historical events of Ancient Greek. Each writer has the right to express his point of view and subjective interpretation of the legendary myth of the Trojan War. All novels can be fairly divided into women's fiction, science fiction, fantasy fiction and pseudo-historical novels.

An American writer Jo Graham debuted in 2008 with her novel Black Ships, a reimagination of Virgil's The Aeneid from which the main plotline of the narrative, characters and a plot device are borrowed. This novel revisits The Aeneid from the engaging perspective of a young girl called Gull. Black Ships is told as a first person narrative. The main character of the novel was conceived by rape when her mother was taken as a slave from Troy. Gull becomes a prophetess and sails with Aeneas on his legendary journey to Italy. She slowly learns the mysteries of the priestesses of death. Eventually she becomes the sibyl, just in time to receive a vision of approaching black ships.

Black Ships is a mix of mythological elements with history and an interesting new variation on an old tale. The novel is primarily historical fiction with some fantasy elements, such as prophecies and a drug-induced trip to the Underworld. Black Ships straddles the line between historical fantasy and literary fiction very well. This novel is the epitome of a simple story. Jo Graham has adroitly weaved the story of the Aeneid with 'real' history, and used the crucial addition of a female voice to produce a great novel.

Margaret Olivia Ensor Coolidge, a British-born American writer, published more than twenty books, including The Trojan War (1952). In this retelling of the Trojan War, the author crafts heroes and gods into real, multidimensional characters, not just the figures of legend. Vibrant storytelling and finely wrought action have made her version of the classic tale of the Fall of Troy accessible to generations of young readers. The novel contains the stories about the 'apple of discord'; the abduction of Helen by Paris of Troy; the unfortunate fate of Iphigenia, who was considered the only suitable human sacrifice to appease the goddess Artemis; Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, who takes an active part in the siege of Troy; the feats and death of Achilles, the greatest warrior, who was killed by Paris of Troy.

Dan Simmons, an American science fiction and horror writer, is the author of the Ilium (2003) / Olympos (2005) cycles. It is a series of two science fiction novels in which the events are set in motion by beings who appear to be ancient Greek gods. These two novels rely heavily on intertextuality, in this case with Homer and Shakespeare as well as references to Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time and Vladimir Nabokov's novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. The main plotlines of Ilium and Olympos are connected with Homer's epic poems - the Iliad and the Odyssey. The series centres on three main character

groups. The first group includes the scholic (a dead scholar from previous centuries that was rebuilt by the Olympian gods from their DNA) Hockenberry, Helen of Troy, Greek and Trojan warriors from the Iliad; the second one consists of Ada, Daeman, Harman and the other 'old-style' humans of Earth; and the third one is composed of the moravecs (autonomous, sentient, self-evolving biomechanical organisms). The novels are written in first-person, present-tense when centred on Hockenberry's character, but features third-person, past-tense narrative in all other instances.

Colleen Margaretta McCullough, an Australian author known for her most well-known novel The Thorn Birds, wrote The Song of Troy in 1998. In this novel, the author recounts the tale of Helen and Paris, the immortal lovers who doomed two great nations to a terrible war. It is told through the eyes of its main characters: the sensuous and self-indulgent Helen; the subtle and brilliant Odysseus; the sad old man Priam, King of Troy; the tormented warrior prince, Achilles; and Agamemnon, King of Kings, who consents to the unspeakable in order to launch his thousand ships. This is an engrossing tale of love, ambition, delusion, honour and consuming passion.

Bettany Hughes is an English historian, author and broadcaster. Her speciality is classical history. Hughes has written two books on Ancient Greek subjects. One of them is Helen of Troy (2005) which has been translated into ten languages including Russian.

Margaret George, an American historical novelist, specializes in epic fictional biographies. She is known for her meticulous research and the large scale of her books. Margaret George, the author of some bestselling novels, wrote Helen of Troy in 2006. This is a lush, seductive novel about the legendary beautiful woman, who has inspired artists and writers for millennia. Margaret George has turned her perceptive eye to the myth of Helen of Troy. The author breathes new life into the great Homeric tale by having Helen narrate her own story. Through her eyes and in her voice, the readers experience the young Helen's discovery of her divine origin and her terrifying beauty. In Helen of Troy, Margaret George has captured a timeless legend in a mesmerizing tale of a woman whose life was destined to create discord and destroy the great civilizations.

An American romance/fantasy author Phyllis Christine Cast wrote Warrior Rising in 2008. This novel is one of Goddess Summoning book series. The plot of the novel is complicated and unpredictable, but in a good way. The goddesses Hera, Athena and Venus (she preferred her Roman name) are getting tired of the Trojan War. In a bid to end the war, the three powerful goddesses try to tame the mighty warrior Achilles with the love of a modern woman. They also want to prevent Achilles from dying at a young age near the end of the Trojan War. The only way to stop Achilles whose power makes him practically invincible is to distract him with something far more pleasurable than combat. Venus comes up with the plan of getting an independent, capable modern woman to aid her in convincing Achilles to remove himself from the war. The three goddesses seize their chance when a twenty-first-century beauty named Kat and her best friend Jacky, an African-American nurse, perish in a car crash in Oklahoma, USA. In no time, Venus takes the opportunity to shift the friends' souls into the recently dead bodies of a Trojan princess Polyxena, and her handmaiden Melia, having no doubt that Kat will catch Achilles's attention. If Kat can finish the mission and keep Achilles from fighting with the Greeks, Venus will grant Kat and Jacky a boon. Kat and Jacky hope to use that boon to obtain new bodies in the modern world so that they could return to their normal lives after this is all over. As Kat gets to know Achilles, she discovers that he is more mature, he has already started regretting the decision of choosing this path. The curse makes him invincible in battle, but it also scares off everyone near him, including women because of the hideous scars on his body. Achilles finds out that Polyxena/Kat is the only women who is not afraid of him. At first, Kat only wants to end this war as soon as possible so that she can return to her old life. However, the more time she spends with Achilles, the more she sees of the man behind the beast. Finally, Kat does not know if she wants to go back to her time any longer.

In the novel three love affairs happen simultaneously - between Polyxena/Kat and Achilles, Melia/Jacky and Achilles's cousin Patroklus, and between Athena and Odysseus. The relationship between Kat and Achilles is great. Their characters complement each other. Relationship between Jacky and Patroklus is a bit weird though. The ending was extremely happy considering no major character died an untimely death. The story is fun, easygoing, and with minimal damage suffered between the main characters. The emotional baggage is definitely lighter than P.C. Cast's other books.

Peter Ackroyd, an English novelist and critic, is noted for the volume of work he has produced, the range of styles therein, his skill at assuming different voices, and the depth of his research. Ackroyd's brilliant historical novel The Fall of Troy (2006) is set in the 19th c. during the excavation of the Bronze Age site of Troy. The novel is based on Heinrich Schliemann's excavation of Troy. Schliemann, a German pioneer in the field of archaeology, is portrayed as Heinrich Obermann in the novel. Fakes, forgeries and plagiarism abound in The Fall of Troy. Peter Ackroyd depicts the blurred line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, history and romance. The author succeeds brilliantly in giving the readers the physical realities of archaeological excavation: the mud, the rubble, the apparent disorder, the ant-like work of carrying away soil, the vital clues in the lie of the land. The main character of the novel, Heinrich Obermann, believes that his discovery of the ancient ruins of Troy will prove that the heroes of the Iliad actually existed. However, Sophia, Obermann's young Greek wife, has her suspicions about his motivations. Sophia's suspicions only increase when she finds a cache of artifacts that her husband has hidden, and when a more skeptical archaeologist dies from a mysterious fever. With exquisite detail, Peter Ackroyd again demonstrates his ability to evoke time and place, creating a brilliantly told story of heroes and scoundrels, human aspirations and follies, and the temptation to shape the truth to fit a passionately held belief.

The Russian authors also refer to the myth of the Trojan War in their novels. So, in Troy. The heroes of the Trojan War (2004) a Russian writer Irina A. Izmaylova changes not only the plot of the myth, but also the destinies of the heroes. This novel has an alternative plot of Homer's Iliad. For example, the main plot twist is that Achilles is considered the son of king Priam.

In 2009 Andrei V. Venkov wrote the novel Paris Alexander. This historical-adventure novel based on ancient Greek myths gives its version of the events of the Trojan War, the abduction of Helen and the unfortunate love story of Paris of Troy and Oenone. In this book, the author presents a slightly different view of the fall of Troy from the generally accepted one. According to Venkov's version, the Achaeans did not destroy Troy, they did not construct a huge wooden horse - the Trojan horse, and Odysseus the Cunning causes Paris of Troy to fall completely in love with Helen who is a prostitute. Paris quite seriously believes that the goddess Aphrodite passed into Helen's body. It is not easy to perceive the plot of the novel. The book is full of names, and sometimes it is difficult to make out the events.

6. The remythologization of the Trojan War in David Gemmell's Troy trilogy

6.1. Introduction

A famous British novelist David Andrew Gemmell (1948-2006) is the author of The Troy Series, a sequence of three historical fantasy novels (Lord of the Silver Bow (2005); Shield of Thunder (2006); Fall of Kings (2007)). After the author's death in 2006, his wife Stella Gemmell completed the third book. This trilogy features characters and settings from Homer's Iliad. Unlike the plot of the Iliad which tells about the events during the last months of the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, the deconstruction of the plot takes place in Gemmell's novels, shifting the emphasis to the initial period of war between the Trojans and Greeks. The writer pays great attention to the reasons and details of war, while profoundly revealing the inner world of the characters, the motifs and the results of their

actions. David Gemmell removes the factor of divine intervention from the hoary legend. The characters of the novels are living humans who make difficult decisions and take false steps. The main characters are Helikaon (also known to legend as Aeneas), Andromache, Odysseus and Argurios.

6.2. Plot summary of the Troy trilogy

All the novels of the Troy trilogy are divided into several parts and chapters. Each book contains a prologue and an epilogue. The first novel of the trilogy, Lord of the Silver Bow, consists of four parts and thirty-six chapters. Each part and chapter has its own title. The development of the novel is associated with the main characters of the book - Helikaon, the young prince of Dardania; the priestess Andromache, whose fierce independence threatens the might of kings; and the brave warrior Argurios. As fate would have it, all the three characters end up in the Bay of Blue Owls where Helikaon and Andromache see each other for the first time. This fated encounter will then turn into the main romantic line of the trilogy. The climax of the novel is the most intense battle that happened in Troy between the Trojans besieged in the palace and the Mycenaeans and Thracians who meanly attacked the Trojans at night. A group of Mycenaean warriors could only get into Troy because there was a traitor among the Trojans - the son of King Priam, Agathon, who was promised money and fame. The denouement of the novel coincides with the final part of the unequal battle: the Trojans led by Helikaon and Argurios fight off the attack of overwhelming enemy forces all the night. The siege of Troy was repulsed due to the tactical tricks and the fortitude of the Trojan soldiers, and the arrival of Prince Hector with reinforcements. There is no doubt that it is a time of bravery and betrayal. Unfortunately, the daughter of King Priam, Laodike, and her beloved Argurios perish that night.

Shield of the Thunder, the second part of the Troy Series trilogy, consists of three parts and thirty-five chapters. This novel reunites the characters from Lord of the Silver Bow: Helikaon, Andromache, Hektor and Odysseus. The central theme of the novel is Helikaon. However, the story is dominated by two Mycenaeans, Kalliades and Banokles, who turn outlaws and flee the wrath of Agamemnon. The three are rescued by Odysseus who goes to Troy to participate in the wedding celebrations of Hektor and Andromache. Meanwhile, Helikaon is seriously wounded by the assassin Karpophorus and gradually recover. The last third of the novel tells about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks.

In the last book of the Troy Series, Fall of Kings, the war between the Trojans and the Greeks comes to its climax. The novel covers many events and military conflicts. Agamemnon's fleet is anchored near Dardanos. Aeneas, who is known as Helikaon, sets fire to the whole fleet. Then he falls in love with Andromache, and they become lovers. Priam, the King of Troy, is slowly losing his mind, and his sons and generals are planning to defend the city. The Mycenaeans press Trojan soldiers hard, so the Trojans are forced to lock themselves in Troy. The climax of Fall of the Kings is the famous battle of Hector and Achilles. Agamemnon promises that all the women and children except for the royal family will get to leave Troy if Hector fights Achilles. The fight is a trick: Agamemnon wants both dead. His agent poisons Hector's blade, so Achilles starts dying. The resolution of the novel comes when Agamemnon believes Helikaon to have taken Troy's treasury to Thera and sails to Thera. Then Thera's volcano erupts, killing everybody else on the island. The novel ends with an elderly Andromache who recalls the adventures she experienced and her beloved friends - Helikaon, Hector, Argurios, Kalliades and Banokles. They will all live forever in her memory and in the memory of her descendants.

6.3. The reinterpretation of mythological characters in the Troy trilogy

Main characters

In the Troy trilogy many characters are mixed: some are based on original characters from the Greek mythology, whereas others are invented by David Gemmell.

The main character of the Troy trilogy is Helikaon - Prince Aeneas in the ancient Greek tradition. In Gemmell's novels, Helikaon is based on Aeneas. Reimagining the ancient Greek mythology the writer remythologizes and mixes the images of Helikaon and Aeneas. He comes a long way from an underconfident and secretive prince to a real hero. Once Aeneas's mother, the queen, whose name is unknown in the trilogy, gave him a second name, which became his nickname - Helikaon. He was a little prince who had a big dream - to build the world's largest ship. But after the terrible suicide of the mother, Aeneas grows up, abandoned by everyone, forgets his dream, becomes emotionally starved, and never leaves his room; his father becomes increasingly cold towards him. Since then no one else has called him Helikaon. Eventually, Odysseus wants to bring back what Helikaon was. Odysseus pretends to drown and Aeneas (Helikaon) 'saves' Odysseus overcoming his fears.

Why does the novelist choose a different name for the great Trojan hero? In Greek mythology Helikaon was a Trojan warrior and son of Antenor, one of the counselors of King Priam of Troy. Helikaon was married to the Trojan princess Laodike, one of the daughters of King Priam. It is of interest to note that in Greek mythology Aeneas and Helikaon are some of the survivors who defended Troy. Both were married to the daughters of King Priam. That is why in the Troy trilogy Creusa and Laodike take a keen love interest in Helikaon, but only Andromache holds a special place in Helikaon's heart. Helikaon married Halysia for the good of the kingdom, even though he is in love with Andromache. He does not know that Andromache has already borne him a son, passed off as the son of Hektor.

In the Iliad, the beautiful and noble Andromache is a paragon of a loving wife and caring mother. David Gemmell turns her into one of the most important characters. It could be suggested that this is because of Euripides's play Andromache. Unlike her mythological prototype, in Gemmell's Troy Andromache is a strong-willed woman with a fiery spirit, sharp mind and stunning beauty. Andromache has a birthmark on her head resembling a shield with thunder across it. According to legends, she is the 'Shield of Thunder' who will bear the Eagle Child, who will never be defeated in battle and whose city will be eternal. After a chance meeting with Andromache in the Bay of Blue Owls, Helikaon immediately realizes that she is not an ordinary woman. Although Andromache witnesses the assassination of Helikaon, she remains calm and firm. Restraint is a quality that is not typical of every woman, but Andromache shows it from the very beginning of the trilogy. When Andromache's father, King Ethion, sends her to the isle of Thera, she feels hurt and bitter. Instead of losing her temper or crying like a woman, Andromache shows restraint. The thoughts of Andromache sound modern, one might even say, feminist notes. On the isle of Thera, Andromache meets a princess Calliope, the sister of the mighty Achilles. The flame of passion bursts into love between them. Even though Andromache thought that this was only a passing fancy, in the second part of the trilogy, Shield of the thunder, she realizes that Calliope has always been her love. Here we can see a modern trend towards the blurred boundaries of love. Although we know that same-sex sexual relations was widespread in the ancient Greece, this idea comes in full force only in contemporary postmodern art.

The figure of Odysseus is also central in the trilogy. Everyone knows that Odysseus traveled for many years after the end of the Trojan War in Homer's Odyssey. In European art, Odysseus is also one of the most popular characters at all times. David Gemmell shows king of Ithaca before the events of direct military conflict. Odysseus is a very different person in the trilogy, whilst his character remains quite similar. He is a good friend and mentor of Helikaon. He is also a storyteller, known to exaggerate his stories and heralded as the greatest storyteller of his age. This is used as a plot device to explain the origins of such myths as those of Circe and the Gorgons. In the Troy trilogy, Odysseus is an old man and an unwilling ally of Agamemnon. At the plot level, Odysseus mediates between all the characters of the novels, allows the reader to see each character from a new perspective. David Gemmell puts forward a peculiar interpretation why Odysseus did not want to immediately take the side of the Achaeans: he was a friend of the Trojans.

Minor characters

The images of numerous minor characters are portrayed brightly, profoundly and in exquisite detail. Sometimes Gemmell completely reimagines the ancient Greek heroes. In Homer's Iliad Helen is the most beautiful women whose beauty becomes the cause of the Trojan War. Gemmell not only denies the abduction of Helen as the cause of the Trojan War, but also describes her as an ordinary woman having a tendency to corpulence.

The tragic image of the Trojan princess Cassandra, whose prophecies no one believes, is perhaps one of the most exciting and amazing in Greek mythology. In Lord of the Silver Bow Cassandra is a fey eleven-year-old child, a seeress, whose vision of a prophet is not the gift of gods. Unlike the mythological cursed Cassandra, people do not believe the prophecies of Gemmell's Cassandra because of her young age and strange behaviour, when a child can think and say anything.

The image of Aeneas's mother who according to the myth was Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, is tragically remythologized in the trilogy. Aeneas's mother is a mortal woman who goes mad and believes she is Aphrodite. She attempts to fly off a cliff in front of the boy and plummets to her death.

Circe, the goddess of magic in Greek mythology, is ironically remythologized. According to Homer's Odyssey, when Odysseus visits her island of Aeaea on the way back from the Trojan War she turns most of his crew into swine. In Shield of the thunder there is an old woman called Circe. It turns out that she has long been familiar with Odysseus. Circe gives Odysseus the task to transport her swine for sale to another island. The chapter The Journey of Swine is one of the funniest chapters in the trilogy.

Gershom, an Egyptian prince, is a steadfast, straightforward thinking character in the trilogy. He enters as a survivor of an over-burdened ship wrecked at sea in a storm. Gershom is found and taken on board the Xanthos by Helikaon. Then he befriends Helikaon and the young healer-to-be, Xander. Eventually, Gershom leaves the crew when they reach the isle of Thera. He departs for his homeland with his future in mind facing his destiny as Moses. In the final chapters of Fall of Kings, we can see that Gershom requests the Pharaoh to let his people go. When the volcano on the isle of Thera erupts, it drives thousands of frogs, locusts, flies and mosquitoes into Egypt. It hides the sun for three days and with the pollution brings the death of many people. Thus, Gershom becomes the Biblical hero Moses in a subtle series of clues.

7. Conclusion

Myths are one of the oldest values of society. They are strongly penetrating into the ideological and artistic structure of postmodern literature. Ancient Greek myths and modern psychological thoughts are tightly interwoven with one another, and that leads to modernizing legendary images. Writers throughout the history of world literature actively use the myth of the Trojan War. Many contemporary authors, reimagining the Trojan War period, focus on the inner world of the characters, their feelings and thoughts. Paradoxical and extremely interesting fact is that Greek myths and mythological cycles have come to the modern reader mostly reproduced from the works of ancient literature, primarily from Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey, which have become the epic tales of the ancient Greeks. The genres of the postmodern interpretation of the Trojan War are quite diverse. They can be divided into pseudo-historical novels, adventure novels, women's romantic novels, and fantasy fiction genre.

David Gemmell's Troy trilogy is an ageless drama of brave deeds and fierce battles, of honour and treachery. The real heroes in the trilogy are noble and humble people, drawn together into this conflict. Honour is in plentiful supply on both sides, and friends find themselves opponents on the battlefield while continuing to hold their friendships to heart. The Dardanian king Helikaon has thrown in his lot with the Trojans, led by the valiant Hector, while maintaining a bond with his old friend, Odysseus, who has come to regret his alliance with the arrogant king Agamemnon. Hector's wife, Andromache, finds herself torn by her

love for Helikaon and duty to Hektor, but ultimately chooses to stay in Troy and protect her sons. David Gemmell just does not want to rehash the Iliad, so the readers get a number of inspired twists to the original tale. The author minimizes the inclusion of fantasy elements in his novels. The Troy trilogy is a glorious valedictory work from one of the best authors of heroic fantasy.

Since the Troy Series contains three novels written by one author and united by a common concept and continuity of the plot, we can analyze it as a whole from the point of view of the interpretation of ancient Greek myths. The material taken by David Gemmell as the basis for his trilogy is extensive. We can state with confidence that Gemmell skillfully interprets the general plot of the siege of Troy, but allows himself to change and enlarge the main plot milestones of the ancient myth. For example, the myth of the 'apple of discord' is interpreted in a different way. According to Homer, the Trojan War was caused by two factors: divine intervention and the abduction of Helen by Paris, prince of Troy. In Gemmell's trilogy, the gods could not ignite the war because they do not appear as characters in the novels. People, their ambitions and desires are the cause of any conflict. According to Gemmell, the cause of the Trojan War was the ambitions of the Mycenaean king Agamemnon. In addition, the love of Helen and Paris is described as a political challenge, but which in no case is the root cause of the conflict. The minor characters are of great importance for the general narrative in the novels, since they also carry characteristics of remythologization process. It becomes clear that the images of the main and minor characters in the Troy trilogy harmonize with the traditional mythological plots, making the narrative more purposeful and connecting the novels more closely to the mythological tradition.

It can be concluded that David Gemmel preserves key plot milestones, but interprets them from a realistic point of view. The author's experiments on the combination of several plot elements are of particular interest. Thus, reimagining classical traditions, employing new methods of intellectual activity, lacking any restrictions on the interpretation of characters are the main features of postmodern consciousness and philosophy.

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