CAHIERS DE L'ECHINOX

CAIETELE ECHINOX. VOLUME 28 / 2015.
MEDIA MYTHOLOGIES. REVISITING MYTHS IN CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

Coordinateurs: Andrada Fătu-Tutoveanu, Corin Braga

carte
ISSN 1582-960X (RO)
ISBN 978-2-36424-234-0 (FR)
Anul apariției: 2015
Format: B5
Nr. pagini: 438

The contemporary media narratives play an essential role in providing the audiences with essential cultural symbols, myths and patterns, mostly by reinterpreting/recycling existing cultural typologies, prototypes and archetypes (Kellner 200; Lyden 2003). This growing significance of both media and the process of myth recycling stems from the post-war Western cultural and technological evolution. Thus, due to essential form and content changes in the production, reproduction and distribution of cultural products since the mid-20th century, media have become increasingly dominant, replacing in dimensions and impact the previous influential institutions in shaping the views, values and behaviours of large audiences. As Peter Horsfield (1987) argues, the media represent a new symbolic environment, which, moreover, has an essential educational impact, shaping, as Douglas Kellner (2003) notices, the people’s views and values, providing “the symbols, myths, and resources through which we constitute a common culture and through the appropriation of which we insert ourselves into this culture.” Thus, the culture we are currently living in is a media-controlled and shaped culture and the manners in which it expresses the message are increasingly sophisticated and predominantly visual. As the influential Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall (1999) argue, when discussing visual culture: “The mechanically and electronically reproduced image is the semantic and technical unit of the modern mass media and at the heart of post-war popular culture”, the image and visual message being employed in a plural and increasingly diversified range of forms on the background of the massified communication and commodification of information.
However, despite the diversity of media channels and complex (and also increasingly interactive) platforms, the storytelling patterns and core messages have remained – para-doxically – roughly unchanged. A few major myth patterns represent the core of contemporary media storytelling, whether we speak of fiction (cinema) or reality based media messages (written or visual press), political representations (image campaigns) or advertising. Recycled (and also rebranded and reinterpreted) myths have proved very useful for contemporary commodified media, in selling a large variety of (media) products.
The current issue of Caietele Echinox / Echinox Journal aims to offer the environment for an academic dialogue and debates concerning the mechanisms, impact and effects of the recycling and wide-ranging employment of classical myth patterns in contemporary media. Departing from an initial theoretical segment – Revisiting Myths in the Information Age: Theoretical Approaches – the thematic sections attempted to cover the different areas in which contemporary media mythologies appear and function. Thus, the volume contains a series of theoretical inquiries on the facets taken by myths in contemporary media, as well as on their significations in relation to current challenges. The studies in the second section, Contemporary Media Narratives and Classic Mythologies, discuss a series of reinterpretations in contemporary media or new media of traditional myth patterns such as resurrection and regeneration, motherhood, other articles focusing on the recycling of powerful symbols such as the water or the labyrinth. As the volume aimed to discuss a diverse range of media, the studies focused both on visual aspects (with an emphasis on cinema, but also television or advertising) and on written press. The studies in the section titled Contemporary Written and Visual Media: Myths, Politics and Ideologies brought a more localised perspective, placing a particular emphasis on post-war communist media in Eastern Europe and Romania in particular. In contrast, the sections dedicated to cinema and advertising brought diverse contributions to the topic, from mainstream to more regional aspects of the myth occurrences in contemporary cinematic and advertising discourses. Finally, the texts in the last section, which focused on the “the ethics of the image”, resulted from a series of workshops organised within a project conducted at “Babeş-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with BA and MA students of the Faculty of Letters.

CONTENTS

Andrada Fătu-Tutoveanu, Foreword [7-8]

Revisiting Myths in the Information Age: Theoretical Approaches
Christian Moraru and Phyllis W. Hunter, Cultural Myths of Global-Age America: Toward A Critical Glossary [11-34]
Luiza-Maria Filimon, In the Clash of Civilisations Myth, the Goalposts Are Always Changing: Deconstructing the Trope of Vilification [35-59]
Horea Poenar, Organizing Pessimism. The Possibility of Thinking in Mass-Media [60-72]
Adriana Carrijo, L’enfance contemporaine: des significations imaginaires en temps bio-identitaires [73-76]
Cristian Paşcalău, Memory Transfixed by Images: A Cross-Cultural and Semiotic Approach on Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil Aka Sunless [77-95]

Contemporary Media Narratives and Classic Mythologies
Rubén Jarazo Álvarez, Resurrection and Regeneration in Doctor Who (1963-): a Critical Approach to Christian Religious Mythology in the TV Series [99-110]
Valentina Sirangelo, Water and Dreams in Early Finnish Death Metal: Adramelech’s Spring of Recovery [111-127]
Iulia Micu, Imaginary Worlds, Labyrinthine Journeys, Stories of Birth and Rebirth [128-139]
Gelu Teampău, Comic-Books as Modern Mythology [140-155]
Adriana Teodorescu, The Blog as an Instrument of Deconstructing the Mass Culture Stereotypes of Postmodern Motherhood. Two Case Studies [156-170]
Diana Cotrău, Social Media and Gratification [171-176]


Contemporary Written and Visual Media: Myths, Politics and Ideologies
Ruxandra Cesereanu, Romania after Communism: Queries, Challenges and Mythifications The Proclamation of Timişoara and the Marathon-protest from Bucharest’s University Square in 1990 [179-184]
Marin Manuela, Creating the Myth of New Man: Propaganda, Politics and Turkish and Tatar Minorities in Communist Dobrudja [185-196]
Olga Grǎdinaru, The Myth of the New Man in Soviet Cinema: A Story about a Real Man [197-207]
Dana Bizuleanu, The Monster’s Myth: From Ideology to Herta Müller’s Imaginary [208-217]
Corin Braga, Le mythe écologiste, de l’utopie à la science-fiction [218-224]

Cinema: Recycling Myths, Archetypes and Storytelling Patterns
Andrada Fǎtu-Tutoveanu, Cold War Media Mythologies: Conspiracy Myth, “Red Scare” and Blacklisting in The Front [227-239]
Martina Martausová, Hollywood Perpetuation of American Mythology: The American Dream and American Adam Synthesis [240-252]
Doru Pop, Puerile Patriarchs of an Infantilized God. Mythological meme mutations in contemporary cinema [253-280]
Ştefan Bolea, The Shadow Archetype of the Vampire in Three Horror Movies [281-289]
Monica Alina Toma, Hybridité et fragmentation dans l’univers dystopique et posthumain du film «Immortel (ad vitam)» [290-298]
Laurenţiu Malomfălean, The Nightmare-Body Michael Haneke Reversing A Tarkovskian Dream Logic in Amour [299-307]

Advertising: Rebranding and Selling Myth
Elena Domínguez Romero, Dissecting the Mythical Perception of Spain: A Heuristic Processing System in Advertising [311-327]
Simina Raţiu, Contemporary Mythologies: A Christly Image in Advertising [328-334]
Olga Bǎlǎnescu, Advertising Mythology – A New Dimension of Contemporary Advertising [335-350]

The Ethics of the Image
Horea Poenar, The Ethics of the Image [353-354]
Călina Părău, The Exo-postural Gaze: A Way out of Representation and Visual Recollection [355-361]
Andra-Teodora Felea, The Glass Ceiling of Artistic Innovation – Causes and Conditions. Alexandra Popa, Certified Copy – The New Platonic Ideal [369-379]
Tudor Munteanu, An Image of Splendor. A Scene from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [380-386]
Lenuţa Berinde, The Ethics of the Shot/ Reverse Shot in Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends [387-395]

Book Reviews [397-433]