The Hero Reloaded

The reinvention of the classical hero in contemporary mass media

| Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
| Universidad de Málaga
ISBN 9789027204950 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
ISBN 9789027261557 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
What was a hero in Classical Antiquity? Why is it that their characteristics have transcended chronological and cultural barriers while they are still role models in our days? How have their features changed to be embodied by comic superheroes and film? How is their essence vulgarized and turned into a mass consumption product? What has happened with their literary and artistic representation along centuries of elitist Western culture?

This book aims at posing these and other questions about heroes, allowing us to open a cultural reflection over the role of the classical world in the present, its meaning in mass media, and the capacity of the Greek and Roman civilizations to dialogue with the modern world. This dialogue offers a glimpse into modern cultural necessities and tendencies which can be seen in several aspects, such as the hero’s vulnerability, the archetype’s banalization, the possibility to extend the heroic essence to individuals in search of identities – vital as well as gender or class identities. In some products (videogames, heavy metal music) our research enables a deeper understanding of the hero’s more obvious characteristics, such as their physical and moral strength.

All these tendencies – contemporary and consumable, contradictory with one another, yet vigorous above all – acquire visibility by means of a polyhedral vehicle which is rich in possibilities of rereading and reworking: the Greco-Roman hero. In such a virtual and postmodern world as the one we inhabit, it comes not without surprise that we still resort to an idea like the hero, which is as old as the West.
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature, 23]  2020.  xiv, 160 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This book combines these three disciplines [hermeneutics, metaphysics, and ethics] in a masterly way based on the analysis of the representation of heroism -- and its changing paradigms and uses -- of the classical world in contemporary mass media through the analysis of relevant examples.”
“Además de la reflexión sobre la actualización de la figura del héroe, el volumen se enmarca en un debate cultural de dimensiones amplias en torno al papel del mundo clásico en la sociedad contemporánea y, también, acerca de su capacidad para apelar a las masas y prosperar en los formatos populares.”
“[U]na obra de gran utilidad y muy coherente en su conjunto, siendo uno de sus mayores aciertos la visión global de la recepción de la figura del héroe clásico desde distintas perspectivas y en cada uno de los formatos más consumidos por el público actual.”
“Este libro, en su conjunto, es una reflexión necesaria acerca de la presencia, y de la plena actualidad, de los referentes clásicos en el mundo contemporáneo. [...] El cine, los videojuegos, las series televisivas, la literatura y la música son vehículos de transmisión que llegan a millones de personas cada día, y es innegable que las obras que están basadas en la mitología o la cultura de Grecia y Roma siguen ejerciendo una poderosa atracción, incluso en el gran público, cuyos conocimientos acerca del mundo antiguo proviene de los medios de comunicación de masas más que de la formación estrictamente académica.”
“En definitiva, este libro reflexiona, a través de la figura del héroe, sobre el legado de la cultura grecolatina en el mundo contemporáneo, sobre las nuevas significaciones que esta ha adquirido en el contexto de los mass media y sobre la inagotable capacidad de la tradición clásica para metamorfosearse en su diálogo con nuevas culturas. Los héroes de la mitología, convertidos en iconos populares, invaden todos los formatos y géneros actuales, de lo que este libro, a través de las calas que ofrecen los siete ensayos recopilados, consigue dar cumplida cuenta.”
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2020. Books Received 70.2. The Classical Review 70:2  pp. 535 ff. Crossref logo

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Subjects & Metadata

Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies
BIC Subject: DSA – Literary theory
BISAC Subject: LIT000000 – LITERARY CRITICISM / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2019055521 | Marc record