Category Archives: Scholarship

Ambiguities and Divided Loyalties: Focalization in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana

Ambiguities and Divided Loyalties: Focalization in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana This is a bachelor’s thesis by Roosa Töyrylä, written at the University of Helsinki, Finland. 2017. Introduction   In fantasy literature, good and evil are often portrayed as absolute opposites, the … Continue reading

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The Once and Future Childslayer by Kathy Cawsey

The Once and Future Childslayer: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Inversion of Malory’s Morte Darthur KATHY CAWSEY, Department of English, Dalhousie University Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry interprets Arthur’s return not as a reward or honor, but as a punishment for killing … Continue reading

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10 Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel

10 Fantasies of History This is the 2012 honours thesis by Matthew Rettino written when while attending McGill University. Since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, fantasy literature has simultaneously seen the rise of formulaic fantasy … Continue reading

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Weaving Legitimacy: Kay’s Use of Mythology in The Fionavar Tapestry

This is an undergraduate paper by Adrienne Johansson written when she was at Wilfrid Laurier University. Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry, undoubtedly the greatest fantasy trilogy ever written by a Canadian, consists of three books; The Summer Tree, published … Continue reading

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Justinian Visited and Revisited

by Pierre-Louis Malosse translated by Morgon Mills This French paper first appeared in the French academic journal Anabases (Toulouse), 5 (2007), p. 229-235. You can read the original French version here. [Thank you to Pierre-Louis and to Deborah for the … Continue reading

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The Other Side Of The Mirror: Tigana

by James Gunn This piece was written by Professor James Gunn as an introduction to a leatherbound edition of Tigana published by Easton Press, as part of a series ‘the leatherbound masterpieces of fantasy’. Thanks to Clinton Hammond for typing … Continue reading

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Guy Gavriel Kay, La chanson d’Arbonne

This is an article by Nathalie Labrousse-Marchau, a French philosophy teacher, which appeared originally on her website. With thanks to Francois Vincent for the translation into English. Read it in English. Guy Gavriel Kay n’est pas un auteur de fantasy … Continue reading

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Post-Romantic Romance: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana and A Song for Arbonne

by Janeen Webb Copyright © Janeen Webb 1994. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in The New York Review of Science Fiction, No.77, January 1995. Judged by any of the standard genre definitions, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana is high … Continue reading

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Myth and the New High Fantasy: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana

by Janeen Webb © 1991, by Janeen Webb. First published in The Ring Bearer: Journal of the Mythopoeic Literature Society of Australia, Spring 1991, Vol 8, No. 2. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. Guy Gavriel Kay … Continue reading

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The World-Building of Guy Gavriel Kay

by Holly E. Ordway May 13, 1998 One of the most notable aspects of fantasy literature is its creation of a secondary world, not like our own primary world. If I may be excused for starting off this essay with … Continue reading

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The Themes of Fate and Free-will in the Fionavar Tapestry

by Shelley McLennan, 2002 The struggle between fate and free-will is a fundamental theme in Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry. The ability of people to change their destiny by the exercising of their free will is most clearly shown … Continue reading

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Comment naissent les héros? by Patricia Gagne

An undergraduate essay by Patricia Gagné. In French! Thanks to Alec Lynch for help with the formatting… Au début, il n’y avait rien… Puis arriva le Tisserand qui s’installa à son Métier où il tissa Fionavar, le premier de tous … Continue reading

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How are Heroes Born?

This is the English version of Patricia Gagné’s undergraduate essay, “Comment naissent les héros?”, as translated by Morgan Mills. The original French version is also on the site. A translator’s introduction of his work must always consist of an apology … Continue reading

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Guy Gavriel Kay and the Psychology of History

by Christopher Cobb First published in Foundation, Summer 2005. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. Christopher Cobb is an assistant professor of English at North Carolina State University. His research interests include Shakespearean romance, Renaissance literature, modern … Continue reading

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“Brightly Woven” or Free to be Bright

This is a paper written by Joshua Fontanna for a grade 12 high school English class in 2009. Why are you reading this? Do you honestly think it will be worth your time? You don’t have to do this you … Continue reading

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We See by Jad’s Light Alone: Guy Gavriel Kay and the New Sanctuary Mosaicist

by Andrew Patton GGK NOTE My old friend Andy Patton is one of those unfairly gifted people who rely on being both charming and decent to avoid being murdered by the rest of us in a collective fit of envy … Continue reading

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“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World”: Songs and Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne

“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World”: Songs and Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne This is an undergraduate paper by James Allard written when he was at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He also presented the paper … Continue reading

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Justinien Visité et Revisité, by Pierre-Louis Malosse

This French paper first appeared in the French academic journal Anabases (Toulouse), 5 (2007), p. 229-235. You can also read the translated English version here. L’Antiquité tardive et Byzance ne sont pas les destinations favorites des voyageurs temporels. Ce n’est … Continue reading

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Myth in Fantasy

An Honours Thesis by Amy Yeong Xiao Hui, submitted as part of her BA in English Literature at the University of Singapore Contents Chapter One: The Importance of Structure in Fantasy Chapter Two: Kay’s Treatment of Archetypes Structure within the … Continue reading

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Kay’s Provence: From Arbonne to Ysabel

Faye Ringel, Ph.D. Professor Emerita, Department of Humanities U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, USA This paper was written by Dr. Faye Ringel, formerly Professor of Humanities, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Versions were presented at the International Conference on … Continue reading

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Postcolonialism in Guy Kay’s Tigana

This is an undergraduate paper by Kent Aardse written for a course taken at the University of Lethbridge in 2008. The unifying movement of postcolonial literature sets out to expose the conditions experienced in the world by those people of … Continue reading

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A Song for Arbonne: de-romanticised fantasy

This is an article by Nathalie Labrousse-Marchau, a French philosophy teacher, which appeared originally on her website. With thanks to Francois Vincent for the translation into English. Read it in French. Guy Gavriel Kay is not an author like the … Continue reading

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Present Reality in Historical Fantasy (Guy Gavriel Kay – Scholarship: & Dissertation)

This is a dissertation by Anya Kleander written for her Honours English Studies with Film and Media Studies Degree at Stirling University, submitted in Spring 2008.   Table of contents Acknowledgments and Declaration List of abbreviations Introduction Tigana – ‘mirroring … Continue reading

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Shifting Focalization and the Strategy of Delay: The Narrative Weaving of "The Fionavar Tapestry"

by Neil Randall This paper, by Neil Randall, first appeared in the journal Canadian Literature, issue no. 129 (Summer 1991). Copyright Neil Randall, reproduced with permission. Huge thanks to Caitlin Sweet for locating a copy of the journal and typing … Continue reading

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Royal Ascent: the romance of monarchy in Yvain, The Hobbit, and Tigana

by Stephen David Wark, 1998 Stephen Wark explains how he came to write this paper: “As far as the provenance of the paper goes, it was written for a course during my M.A. at Concordia University titled “Early Modern Romance”. … Continue reading

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Synopsis of article by Mirco Tondi

Translation by Emanuele Manco, administrator of Fantasy Magazine. This is a synopsis of “La mitologia, fonte di consapevolezza e ispirazione: il mondo di Fionavar di Guy Gavriel Kay”, by Mirco Tondi. History, religion, psychology teach that everything has a single … Continue reading

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Songs in the Blood: The Discourse of Music in Three Canadian Novels

by Joyce Gutensohn, 2004 Joyce explains: I had originally planned to write my MA thesis at the University of Victoria on some aspect of the relationship between music and literature, and was leaning toward the traditional approach of examining a … Continue reading

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From Middle Earth to Fionavar: Free Will and Sacrifice in High Fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay

by Susannah Clements This paper, by Susannah Clements, was presented at the Conference on Christianity and Literature 2002, attended primarily by Christian scholars and students. The theme of the conference was whether there is such a thing as a “distinctly … Continue reading

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The Double-Edged Gift: Power and Moral Choice in The Fionavar Tapestry

by Dena Taylor, University of Toronto The central image sustaining The Fionavar Tapestry is that of the Weaver at the Worldloom and the Tapestry he weaves, an image which represents time and the fate or destiny of all the characters … Continue reading

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The Creative Construction of History in Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Sarantine Mosaic

by Jillian Hatch, 2005 As Holly E. Ordway recognizes in her essay, “The World-Building of Guy Gavriel Kay,” “Kay’s work is notable in that he makes extensive use of sources from […] the ‘primary world,’” such as “literature, mythology, and … Continue reading

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Three Glasses of Wine: The Accommodation of Culture in The Lions of Al-Rassan

by Dena Taylor This paper, by Dena Taylor, is part of an upcoming book on GGK being published by NIMROD PRESS (New Lambton, NSW, Australia) in the BABEL HANDBOOKS series. In The Lions of Al-Rassan, religion is highly politicized, with … Continue reading

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On Sailing to Sarantium, by Dena Taylor

by Dena Taylor This was first published as a review in TransVersions 10, Toronto: Orchid Press, 1999 In Sailing to Sarantium, Volume One of The Sarantine Mosaic, Guy Gavriel Kay moves east in his secondary world and three hundred years … Continue reading

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The High Fantasies of Lawhead and Kay, by John Doherty.

By John J. Doherty This essay is part of a larger work by Professor Doherty, titled “Arthurian Fantasy, 1980-1989: An analytical and bibliographical survey”. It examines the development of the Arthurian Legend in fantasy literature during the 1980s. This essay, … Continue reading

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GGK’s note re Douglas Barbour

A few writers and reviewers seem to have tracked my entire career. Douglas Barbour of the University of Alberta, poet, academic, immensely knowledgeable about sf and fantasy, was probably the first to comment in a substantial literary journal – which … Continue reading

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The Fionavar Tapestry

The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy consists of The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road. The first book of the trilogy was published in 1984, and was runner-up for SF Book Club’s book of the year award. The second … Continue reading

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