Orpheus in the Underground

Descents to the Underworld in 20th-Century and Contemporary Literature

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In my study I deal with descents to the underworld and hell in literature in the 20th century and in contemporary literature. I will focus on modem literary reinterpretations of the myth of Orpheus, starting with Rilke’s Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes. In Seamus Heaney’s The Underground. in the Hungarian Istvan Baka’s Descending to the Underground of Moscow and in Czesław Miłosz’s Orpheus and Eurydice underworld appears as underground, similarly to the contemporary Hungarian János Térey’s play entitled Jeramiah. where underground will also be a metaphorical underworld which is populated with the ghosts of the famous deceased people of Debrecen, and finally, in Péter Kárpáti’s Everywoman the grave of the final scene of the medieval Everyman will be replaced with a contemporary underground station. I analyse how an underground station could be parallel with the underworld and I deal with the role of musicality and sounds in the literary works based on the myth of Orpheus.

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Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

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