Student Papers

Undergraduate & Reader Papers

Ambiguities and Divided Loyalties: Focalization in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, by Roosa Töyrylä

This is a bachelor’s thesis by Roosa Töyrylä, written at the University of Helsinki, Finland. 2017.

“The Unacknowledged Legislators of the World”: Songs and Poetry in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne, by James Allard
This is an undergraduate paper by James Allard written when he was at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He also presented the paper at the 1997 Academic Conference of Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The Themes of Fate and Free-will in the Fionavar Tapestry, by Shelley McLennan
This is an undergraduate paper by Shelley McLennan written as the final paper for her course in Arthurian Legend that she took at the University of Waterloo.

Weaving Legitimacy: Kay’s Use of Mythology in The Fionavar Tapestry
This is an undergraduate paper written by Adrienne Johannson during her fourth year at Wilfrid Laurier University, for a course in Fantasy Literature taken at the University of Waterloo.

Myth in Fantasy
This is an undergraduate thesis written by Amy Yeong Xiao Hui, submitted as part of her BA in English Literature at the University of Singapore. Amy explains: I first came across GGK when my professor suggested The Fionavar Tapestry as supplementary reading in late Dec 2003. I’d originally intended to write my thesis on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but changed my mind after reading Fionavar. Its use of mythology and structure was fascinating, and it actually posed more of a challenge than Tolkien, partly due to the fact that it has considerably less scholarship to refer to.

Comment naissent les héros?
This is the FRENCH version of Patricia Gagné’s essay, “Comment naissent les héros?”, kindly translated by Morgon Mills.

How are Heroes Born?

This is the English version of Patricia Gagné’s essay, “Comment naissent les héros?”, kindly translated by Morgon Mills.

Postcolonialism in Guy Kay’s Tigana
This is an undergraduate paper written by Kent Aardse as part of an English degree at the University of Lethbridge.

“Brightly Woven” or Free to be Bright
This is a grade 12 English paper written by Joshua Fontanna. It discusses the triumph of free will over fate in The Fionavar Tapestry.

Fantasies of History: Guy Gavriel Kay’s Synthesis of the Historical Fantasy Novel
This is the 2012 honours thesis by Matthew Rettino written while attending McGill University.

In Focus: Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
A touching look into the themes of Tigana, by Gyorgy Henyei Neto.


Graduate Papers

Royal Ascent: the romance of monarchy in Yvain, The Hobbit, and Tigana, by Stephen Wark
This is a graduate paper, written by Stephen Wark for a course he took during his M.A. at Concordia University titled “Early Modern Romance.” At a later stage, Stephen intends to adapt this paper further for the site and focus solely on Tigana, with a larger discussion of the role of women and family in the political structures of Tigana.

Songs in the Blood: The Discourse of Music in Three Canadian Novels by Joyce Gutensohn
This is Joyce Gutensohn’s MA thesis that she presented at the University of Victoria. The three novels of the title are Tigana, Robertson Davies’ A Mixture of Frailties and Timothy Findley’s The Piano Man’s Daughter. Only the middle chapter, on Tigana, is included here, together with the introduction and conclusion.

The Creative Construction of History in Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Sarantine Mosaic by Jillian Hatch
This is an undergraduate paper written in the fourth year of a five year combined B.A. in English and Art History at the University of Calgary. Jillian writes: “I had actually never heard of Guy Gavriel Kay until I was assigned to read the Sarantine Mosaic in my Fantasy Lit class. Almost from the moment that I started reading it, however, I was hooked, probably by his constant references to art – the Hagia Sophia, the Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora in Ravenna, any kind of description of the act of creation (plus, I simply love all things Byzantine). By now I think that I must have read almost every one of his books, except for Ysabel (not yet published). I enjoy the way in which he treats historical subjects (and he tends to choose to write about my favorite eras); he never denies his own modern approach, and yet everything is so well-researched and thought out.”

Present Reality in Historical Fantasy by Anya Kleander
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. Anya writes: “The first GGK book I read was The Summer Tree, and I thought it and the rest of the Tapestry were average quality fantasies, but nothing special. A few months later I read Tigana and decided it was ‘yucky’ (the exact words in my reading journal)! To be fair, I was 10 years old and David Eddings was my favourite author. Five years and many novels later I saw the Tapestry in a library and decided to give it another go – and I’m very glad I did! I now own, and love, all the books, and so when it was time to start thinking about my undergrad dissertation, GGK was the obvious choice. The specific topic, not so much – which is why my dissertation has its own thread in the forums!”

The Interdependency of Myth and Magic in the Fionavar Tapestry

A Master of Arts piece by Laureen Middleton, hosted on the University of Waterloo website.

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