Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2011

Abstract

CHARLES FRAZIER HAS CAREFULLY SITUATED HIS NOVEL ABOUT AN American Civil War deserter within Greek and Latin classical literary traditions. Since its publication, Cold Mountain has all but universally been hailed as an “odyssey” by readers, critics, and scholars, in recognition of its structure as an adventure-laden homeward journey, with the end goal of reuniting two lovers; it is rich with Homeric allusions (even to the point of quotation) and typologies of both character and scene (Chitwood; McDermott, “Frazier Polymêtis.”; Vandiver). In the first chapter, the author further introduces two fragments of the pre-Socratic philosopher, Heraclitus (18), a thinker whose “challenge to mankind is to learn to understand . . . the discourse of nature” (“Heraclitus” 501); in the course of the novel, reflection back on these fragments will contribute substantially to a thematic assertion that war’s devastations may be healed by return to a life attuned to nature (Chitwood; McDermott, “Frazier Polymêtis” 102-03, 122-23). A recent study (McDermott, “Metal Face”) also demonstrates the author’s indebtedness, in the same thematic context, to the Golden-Age motif originated by Hesiod in his Works and Days and featured as well in Virgil’s Georgics and fourth Eclogue.

Comments

Published in Mississippi Quarterly, Winter-Spring 2011, 64.1-2.

Publisher

Mississippi Quarterly

Additional Files

Ovid_Christians_Celts.pdf (97 kB)

MissQ_Ovid_CM.pdf (270 kB)

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.