ISSEI 2002 Aberystwyth, Wales
Workshop 431: Section IV, Workshop 431
Merlin as Manifestation of European Identity/Identities in Contemporary Literature, Music,
Theatre and Art.
A principal figure of the Arthurian cycle forever linked to Wales, protagonist of medieval English and French poetry and prose, cherished interlocutor of Cervantes's immortal madman, Merlin reemerged with the resurgence of regional folklores and the reaffirmation of national identities that characterized much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and survives into
the twenty-first. What are the reasons why this legendary figure endures, and what significance does he hold for a myriad of artists and folklorists of today's Europe?
Playing a fundamental role in the birth and life of King Arthur, Merlin is an abiding symbol for all
Celtic peoples. Amalgam of both power and vulnerability, for the mighty conjuror was powerless
in the face of love, Merlin is representative of the human condition; and as master of magic, he is an emblem of the artist and his/her craft. This workshop will explore the reasons why the myth of Merlin has transcended time and borders, and the meanings with which European artists have infused, and continue to infuse, the beloved figure of legend.
If you are interested in presenting a paper at this workshop, please contact the workshop chairs:
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