Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States
In 1972 Evans Lansing Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College.
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, United States
In 1980 Evans Lansing Smith gained a Master of Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1986.
(An exploration of the myth of descent into the underworld...)
An exploration of the myth of descent into the underworld as it informs and shapes a wide range of modern fictions. The author discovers in a series of close readings of works by Strindberg, Yeats, Conrad, Eliot, Lawrence, Mann, Lowry, Broch, and Pynchon the precipitating biographical and cultural crises leading to the symbolic association of death and the imagination. The readings are steeped in Jungian thought, but not enslaved by it. The conclusion yields insights into the essence of modernism that extend our understanding beyond literature into the arts.
(Ricorso and Revelation traces the impact on Modernism of ...)
Ricorso and Revelation traces the impact on Modernism of the archaeological discoveries of the Palace of Knossos, the Royal Cemetery of Ur, and the Tomb of Tutankhamen, and the artifacts recovered from these sites, showing how they entered the narrative strategies of the Modernist movement. The author also develops a new argument about the four myth configurations - the maze, alchemy, the Great Goddess, and the Apocalypse - which were of central importance to the literature of European Modernism between 1895 and 1946, studying their appearances in a wide range of European modernist writers and in the paintings of Picasso and the films of Jean Cocteau. Drawing from a variety of theories on myth, Smith suggests that each of these four myths represents a creative return to the origins (ricorso), a reduction of the raw materials of daily life to the fundamental elements of creation (revelation), followed by a recreation of the world (cosmogenesis), of the poet (ontogenesis), and of the text (poesis).
(Figuring Poesis focuses on the interrelations between myt...)
Figuring Poesis focuses on the interrelations between myth and geometrical symbolism in literature since the end of the Second World War. Detailed readings of a wide range of works contextualize allusions to the myths of the apocalypse, the great goddess, alchemy, the labyrinth, and the descent to the underworld. The geometrical symbols that occur in conjunction with these myths serve as images of poesis and hermeneusis. The conclusion brings postmodernist paintings and architecture into the discussion, and develops an iconography of form.
(This book provides an overview of the hero journey theme ...)
This book provides an overview of the hero journey theme in literature, from antiquity to the present, with a focus on the imagery of the rites of passage in human life (initiation at adolescence, mid-life, and death). This is the only book to focus on the major works of the literary tradition, detailing discussions of the hero journey in major literary texts.
(The classics of modernist art, says Smith, coincided with...)
The classics of modernist art, says Smith, coincided with major developments in archaeology and physics, and like them, were concerned with reducing reality to its smallest elements and returning to origins. He assumes that the most basic of all narrative structures is the nekyia the journey to the underworld and that the nekyia itself may be further reduced to elementary images he calls necrotypes. He creeps through the work of such masters as Strindberg, Yeats, Eliot, Proust, D. H. Lawrence, Joyce, Thomas Mann, Broch, and Robert Musil. He concludes by setting out an archetypal poetics of modernism. The text is double spaced.
(Sacred Mysteries retells and analyzes those myths and tal...)
Sacred Mysteries retells and analyzes those myths and tales of marriage and relationship which involve a hero journey to the otherworld. It focuses on the archetypal symbolism in these marvelous stories, in order to provide a magic mirror of myth in which to reflect upon the mysteries of our relationships - their sorrows and joys, their ups and downs, their losses and recoveries. Joseph Campbell once remarked that marriage is a sacred relationship because it breaks down our egos, but thereby opens us up to a deeper dimension within ourselves. James Hillman would agree, and call marriage a "soul-making" journey, one that takes us down into the depths, where the mythic images of the soul lie buried. Sacred Mysteries celebrates and illuminates the ups and downs of couples on the quest. It focuses exclusively on myths, ballads, poems, stories, and folktales about couples who undertake a journey to the otherworlds within the soul - worlds only marriage and relationship can open up to us.
(This work provides a comprehensive study of the myth of t...)
This work provides a comprehensive study of the myth of the descent to the underworld in postmodern literature. It develops a theory of necrotypes - archetypal images consistently evoked by the myth of the nekyia - and applies it to close readings of selected works by major authors of the period.
(The Complete Idiots Guide to World Mythology explores th...)
The Complete Idiots Guide to World Mythology explores the gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, monsters and angels of the myths from every corner of the globe. Additionally, it explores the parallels between every culture and the striking similarities in mythic figures and the structure, action, wording, and result of the stories themselves. Covers Egyptian, Celtic, Teutonic, Norse, Japanese, Mexican, Native American, and other myths.
(In this meticulously researched, carefully argued work, E...)
In this meticulously researched, carefully argued work, Evans Lansing Smith argues that the nekyia, the circular Homeric narrative describing the descent into the underworld and reemergence in the same or similar place, confers shape and significance upon the entirety of James Merrill’s poetry. Smith illustrates how pervasive this myth is in Merrill’s work – not just in The Changing Light at Sandover, where it naturally serves as the central premise of the entire trilogy, but in all of the poet’s books, before and after that central text.
(Thomas Pynchon and the Postmodern Mythology of the Underw...)
Thomas Pynchon and the Postmodern Mythology of the Underworld is devoted to the work of one of the most highly acclaimed writers of the post-World War II period of American literature, Thomas Pynchon.
(These poems follow Ezra Pound's mandate to "Make It new" ...)
These poems follow Ezra Pound's mandate to "Make It new" by offering adaptations of haiku stanzas, in lyric and narrative sequences, revolving around the eternal themes of love, death, and nature.
(Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged i...)
Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged in the study of the Grail Quests and Arthurian legends of the European Middle Ages. In this new volume of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, editor Evans Lansing Smith collects Campbell’s writings and lectures on Arthurian legends, including his never-before-published master’s thesis on Arthurian myth, "A Study of the Dolorous Stroke." Campbell’s writing captures the incredible stories of such figures as Merlin, Gawain, and Guinevere as well as the larger patterns and meanings revealed in these myths. Merlin’s death and Arthur receiving Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake, for example, are not just vibrant stories but also central to the mythologist’s thinking.
In 1972 Evans Lansing Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. In 1978 he obtained a Master of Arts degree from Antioch International. In 1980 Smith gained a Master of Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1986.
From 1980 to 1986 Evans Lansing Smith was an instructor of English at Harvey Mudd College. From 1984 to 1986 he was an instructor of English at Mt. San Antonio College. In 1986 Smith served as an instructor of English at Pitzer College. From 1986 to 1988 he worked as an assistant professor of English at Franklin College (now Franklin University Switzerland) in Lugano, Switzerland.
From 1988 to 1990 he was an assistant professor of English at Anne Arundel Community College. From 1990 to 2010 Smith served as a professor of English at Midwestern State University. From 2005 to 2010 he was an adjunct faculty of the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Since 2010 he has been a chair and core faculty of the Mythological Studies Program at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, in Santa Barbara, California.
He is the author of thirteen books (including two volumes of poems) and numerous articles on comparative literature and mythology.
(In this meticulously researched, carefully argued work, E...)2008
(Ricorso and Revelation traces the impact on Modernism of ...)1995
(This book provides an overview of the hero journey theme ...)1997
(The classics of modernist art, says Smith, coincided with...)2001
(Thomas Pynchon and the Postmodern Mythology of the Underw...)2012
(These poems follow Ezra Pound's mandate to "Make It new" ...)2013
(The Complete Idiots Guide to World Mythology explores th...)2008
(Throughout his life, Joseph Campbell was deeply engaged i...)2015
(Figuring Poesis focuses on the interrelations between myt...)1997
(Sacred Mysteries retells and analyzes those myths and tal...)2003
(An exploration of the myth of descent into the underworld...)1990
(This work provides a comprehensive study of the myth of t...)2003
Evans Lansing Smith is a member of the Modern Language Association of America and Joseph Campbell Foundation.
On October 21, 1984, Evans Lansing Smith married Michelle Ruppert. They have three children: Anita, Carly, Angela.