Prometheus in the Nineteenth Century
From Myth to Symbol

Caroline Corbeau-Parsons

Studies In Comparative Literature 25

Legenda

3 June 2013  •  206pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-52-3 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ModernArtMusic


On Zeus’ order, Prometheus was chained to Mount Caucasus where, every day, he was to endure his liver being devoured by a bird of prey — his punishment for bringing fire to mankind. Through the impulse of Goethe, his fortune went through radical changes: the Titan, originally perceived as a trickster, was established both as a creator and a rebel freed from guilt, and he became a mask for the Romantic artist. This cross-disciplinary study, encompassing literature, the history of art, and music, examines the constitution of the Prometheus myth and the revolution it underwent in 19th-century Europe. It leads to the Symbolist period — which witnessed the coronation of the Titan as a prism for the total work of art — and aims to re-establish the importance of Prometheus amongst other major Symbolist figures such as Orpheus.

Caroline Corbeau-Parsons is Assistant Curator 1850-1915 at Tate Britain.

Reviews:

  • ‘The truly interdisciplinary reach of Corbeau-Parsons’ work... makes it much more than (just) an exercise in comparative literature... What emerges from Corbeau-Parsons’ engaging study and her analysis of some stunning works of art is a powerful sense of the remarkable autonomy of the Prometheus figure, so much so that one is almost tempted to echo Wilamowitz in Der Glaube der Hellenen and exclaim: ‘The gods are there’!’ — Paul Bishop, Journal of European Studies 44.1, 2014, 81-82
  • ‘A well-written, systematic and comprehensive examination of the Prometheus myth and its many artistic adaptations and nuances.’ — Harriet Hustis, BARS Review 45, 2015
  • ‘Throughout this impressive book, which forms part of the Legenda Studies in Comparative Literature series, Caroline Corbeau-Parsons explores the Symbolist fascination with the Prometheus myth, tracing its origins in antiquity, its rediscovery in the Renaissance, its centrality in versions of German, French, and English Romanticism, and finally its use by Mallarmé, Moreau, and others.’ — Paul Wright, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 788-89 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Corbeau-Parsons, Caroline, Prometheus in the Nineteenth Century: From Myth to Symbol, Studies In Comparative Literature, 25 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013)

First footnote reference: 35 Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, Prometheus in the Nineteenth Century: From Myth to Symbol, Studies In Comparative Literature, 25 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Corbeau-Parsons, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Corbeau-Parsons, Caroline. 2013. Prometheus in the Nineteenth Century: From Myth to Symbol, Studies In Comparative Literature, 25 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Corbeau-Parsons 2013: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Corbeau-Parsons 2013: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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