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The violence of the name: patronymy in Earthsea.: An article from: Extrapolation [HTML] [Digital]

Christopher L. Robinson

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Earthsea novels of Ursula K. Le Guin pit two visions of language and subjectivity against one another. On the one hand, the fantasy cycle is based upon the myth of a magical language, and the texts imitate this myth in the very rhetoric of the novels by way of carefully constructed names. (1) Drawing upon the mimetic capacities of language to create a mirror-like reflection between the multiple associations of a name and the attributes of its designated character, the texts employ these "mimological" names, to borrow Gerard Genette's terminology (5), in the reconstruction of the human subject as whole and unified. In other words, the names arc motivated in such a way as to make the characters...

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