Orpheus in the Underground

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

Open access

Abstract

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.

References

  • Ashford, David. 2008. The Ghost in the Machine: Psychogeography in the London Underground 1991-2007. The Literary London Journal vol. 6. no. 2. . literarylondon.org/london-journal/september2008/ashford.html (21 Apr. 2015)

  • ---. 2013. London Underground: A Cultural Geography. Liverpool: Liverpool UP.

  • Auden, W[ystan] H[ugh]. 1994. Orpheus. In Collected Poems, ed., preface Edward Mendelson. London: Faber and Faber.

  • Baka, István. 2003. Alászállás a moszkvai metróba. [Descent into the Underground of Moscow.] In Versek [Poems], ed. and afterword Attila Bombitz. Szeged: Tiszatáj.

  • Barthes, Roland. 1990. Fade-out. In A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. Trans. Richard Howard. 112-116. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • Graves, Robert. 1973. The Greek Myths. Vol. 1. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • Heaney, Seamus. 1985a. Station Island. In Station Island. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.

  • ---. 1985b. The Underground. In Station Island. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.

  • Homer. 2002. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles, introduction, notes Bernard Knox. London: Penguin.

  • Kerényi Károly. 1977. Görög mitológia. [Greek Mythology.] Trans. Grácia Kerényi. Budapest: Gondolat.

  • Mahawatte, Royce. 2014. In Tunnels. The Times Literary Supplement February 28 no. 5787.

  • Miłosz, Czesław. Orpheus and Eurydice. Trans. Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass. http://oriana-poetry.blogspot.hu/2010/11/milosz-as-orpheus.html (22 Apr. 2015)

  • Ovid. 1998. Orpheus and Eurydice. In Metamorphoses. Trans. A. D. Melville, introduction, notes E. J. Kenney. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP.

  • Plato. 1987. The Republic. Trans., introduction Desmond Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • ---. 1951. The Symposium. Trans. Walter Hamilton. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

  • Pound, Ezra. 2007. In a Station of the Metro. In Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems. Selected by Kurt Brown and Harold Schechter, foreword Billy Collins. New York, London and Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf.

  • Rilke, Rainer Maria. 1980. Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes. In Werke: Gedicht-Zyklen [Works: Poem Cycles], eds. Ruth Sieber and Ernst Zinn. Frankfurt am Main: Insel.

  • Simic, Charles. 2008. The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks. Keene NY: Ausable.

  • Terry, Philip. 2014. Inferno: Canto I. London Review of Books, vol. 36 no. 7. http:// www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n07/philip-terry/inferno-canto-i

  • Thurston, Michael. 2009. Seamus Heaney’s “Station Island.” In The Underworld in Twentieth Century Poetry: From Pound and Eliot to Heaney and Walcott. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Virgil. 2003. Aeneid. Trans., introduction David West. London: Penguin.

  • V. Kovács, Sándor. 1985. Magyar pokoljárók: Egy fejezet lovagi irodalmunk történetéből. [Hungarian Descents into Hell: A Chapter from the History of Our Court Literature.] In Tar Lőrinc pokoljárása: Középkori magyar víziók [Lőrinc Tar’s Descent into Hell: Medieval Hungarian Visions], ed., publisher, foreword, notes S. V. K., trans. Ibolya Bellus et al. Budapest: Szépirodalmi.

Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 29 29 23
PDF Downloads 7 7 5