Call for papers: Amaltea vol. 10 (Oct. 2018) | «Myth, Fantasy and Magic»

Amaltea, Journal of Mythcriticism, requests original contributions that address the relationship between myth, fantasy and magic (1900-2016).

The relationship between myth and fantasy is a complex one. Contemporary criticism tends to be quite vague when establishing the boundaries that separate both concepts. This conceptual indeterminacy often comes from a terminological indeterminacy and from the rare confrontation of texts. A correct terminological approach and focus on the fundamental texts is crucial for myth-criticism.

This academic problem is nowadays aggravated by contemporary trends in storytelling. In films such as Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (Tim Johnson & Patrick Gilmore, 2003) or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall, 2011), there are many mythological characters: Proteus, Eris, mermaids, Tartarus… There are also fantasy motifs, such as the implausible jump of the ship or the plasticity of the mermaids. Myth and fantasy are not opposed concepts, but they are diverse. It falls on the hands of the researcher to distinguish between the varied forms of transcendence (personal or cosmic in myth, plastic or natural in fantasy) and between the different kinds of timeframe (absolute in myth, relative in fantasy).

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Magic exteriorizes mankind’s irrepressible desire to transform the world, not through work, but through extraordinary means. By the use of white magic (alchemy), mankind aspires to know the secrets of the world, to find the Philosopher’s Stone. By the use of black magic, man makes a pact with the devil to gain power, pleasure or self-affirmation. White magic has been personified in history (Paracelsus) and literature (Claude Frollo, Notre-Dame of Paris); and so has black magic: Theophilus of Adana in history, Faust in literature.

Hecate, goddess of the land and of births (Hesiod’s Theogony, Homeric Hymns) is also the goddess of magic. Medea brews a potion (φάρμακον) that she gives to Jason in Hecate’s temple so that he can get the Golden Fleece (Apollonius Rhodius’s Argonautica). Traces of this tale feature in literature (The Grimm Brothers’ Snow White) and in the film Snow White & The Huntsman (Rupert Sanders, 2012).

Magic is always carried out by means of an object: an ointment (prepared by Medea for Jason), a peplum and a diadem (a gift from Medea to Creusa), a philtre (made by Nessus for Heracles)… This is particularly evident in fairy tales, the quintessential magical world: the fairy godmother taps with her wand an object that is immediately transformed. In magic, a supernatural force is present in the world and that is how magic enters the realm of myth. Such is not the case in fantasy, where elements are merely ‘fantastical’; their transcendence is fantastical or plastic, not mythical. Tom Thumb (from Perrault’s tale), One Piece (from Eiichiro Oda’s 1997 videogame), or the cars (in Johan Lasseter 2006 animated film Cars) belong to a fantasy world, but not to a supernatural or sacred world.

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Amaltea, Journal of Mythcriticism, requests original contributions that address the relationship between myth, fantasy and magic since 1900. Authors are free to choose whatever texts, literary genres or epistemological treatment they consider suitable for their study. The coordinating team of this thematic issue will favour articles that adhere to these parameters: adequate topic, critical approach to myth, scientific methodology (critical and bibliographical apparatus), originality, and quality of content and of expression.

Authors are invited to send their anonymous articles, written in one of the official languages of the Journal (English, Spanish, and French) between 1st November 2017 and 1st February 2018. The Secretary of Amaltea will inform them of the Editorial Board’s decision by April 15th. Issue no. 10 will be published in October 2018.

Articles on any mythical themes in contemporary literature and art (since 1900 onwards) will also be considered for publication in the “Miscellany” section.

We also accept “Reviews” and “Critical Readings” on publications related to mythology. If they are printed, the author must send a copy by post to “Prof. José Manuel Losada, Departamento de Francés, Facultad de Filología, University Complutense, 28040, Madrid, Spain”.

Articles must be sent through the OJS. Authors should first register in the website as an AUTHOR. With the username and password provided, authors will upload their articles through Authors must conform to the Journal’s submission guidelines.


There is an English page of Amaltea. Please, click on the main page, then select “English” in the “idioma” tab at the right column.


P.S. If you hold a PhD and wish to be a part of the Amaltea Reviewers Team, please notify (certificate included).


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Amaltea. Revista de mitocrítica
ISSN-e 1989-1709

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