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Literary Precedents for Enchanted Night

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In order to appreciate Millhauser's contribution to the mythography that concerns itself with the legendary, goat-footed piper, the reader may wish to sample other fictional incarnations from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Under the auspices of imaginative literature, metaphysical Nature, represented by the hoofed and horned god, has frequently been examined as either corruptive and sinister or protective and benevolent. Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan is, perhaps, the bestknown example of the former perspective.

Kenneth Grahame's The Wind and the Willows takes the latter approach. Usually, however, Pan—whose name (in Greek) means "all"—is cast as a constitutionally ambivalent spirit.

In E. M. Forster's "The Story of a Panic," for example, British tourists gather for a picnic in the Italian countryside only to find themselves scrambling downhill, precipitated by undifferentiated fear. Neither the narrator nor any of the other characters...

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This section contains 1,245 words
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Buy the Enchanted Night Short Guide
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Enchanted Night from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.