Classically Inclined

July 24, 2019

The monsters are coming…

Filed under: Research — lizgloyn @ 3:40 pm
Tags: , ,

Tracking Classical Monsters in Popular Culture

It’s all starting to get a bit real now on the Tracking Classical Monsters front. I think I last wrote about the structure of the book when I thought it was going to look rather different, so I thought I’d take a moment to give a quick update on how it actually turned out. When I shared the original outline, not only did I think the book was going to have a different title, I also thought it was going to split nicely into two even sections. The first half of the book would do theory and overview, exploring a bit about film and television; the second half would look at four individual monsters as case studies, drawing out the consequences of the arguments made in the first half. Simple.

Alas, the book had other ideas, as I realised when writing the film chapter. It just was not going to be a single chapter, and there was no way I could condense the material down into a single chapter without horribly compromising what I was going to say. Similarly, when I got to the television chapter, I found myself with absolutely buckets to say about Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – in retrospect, I might have realised that there’d be quite a lot to say given that I had watched 111 episodes of the thing, but never mind. This is a great example of the way a project can change between your original conception of it and the final result – in this case, the source material was just so much richer than I anticipated, and I found that in order to say what I wanted to say, I needed to take more room.

Now, it was probably a bit of a blessing that I realised this in the middle of the book rather than at the end, because I was able to make adjustments to the overall plan to reflect this shift in my sense of what I wanted to include. In order to include all the things I’d found and wanted to say about the films and television, I decided that the most sensible thing to do was to cut two of the case study chapters. Sadly, the sirens and the centaurs fell by the wayside, although I did try to work them into other discussion wherever possible – hopefully I’ll be able to come back to them at a later stage when I’ve got a bit more time to look at them in detail. The Minotaur and Medusa stayed because in some ways, they are the most prolific of the ancient monsters who crossed my path while I was doing my research – not that other monsters weren’t there, of course, but these were the two who consistently got sent my way.

So there you have it – the book shifted shape not because the argument changed, but because my source material turned out to be so much more interesting than I thought it was going to be. It was a nice problem to have.

What’s next? Well, there are plans for a book launch in the works when the book is released on Halloween, so watch this space. There’s also now a Facebook group for the book, which you can like here – as well as updates on the progress of the book, I’m also using it as a place to share all the fantastic monsters who get passed on to me as the result of being A Person Who Does This Sort Of Thing. I’m sure there will be other things, but in the meantime I’m going to try and concentrate on not melting…

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