Adapt or die: exploring Ovid and Bernini’s adaptations of the Apollo and Daphne myth and ALL TIME IS BUT LIGHT AND SHADOW, short stories

Hibbert, Linden Caroline (2024) Adapt or die: exploring Ovid and Bernini’s adaptations of the Apollo and Daphne myth and ALL TIME IS BUT LIGHT AND SHADOW, short stories. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This creative/critical thesis explores two adaptations of the classical Apollo and Daphne myth, the first by Ovid in Book 1 of his Metamorphoses poem, the second as sculpture by the baroque artist GianLorenzo Bernini.

The critical essay considers how adaptation has shaped the myth of Apollo and Daphne, and how the mythic narrative has remained relevant to the present day because of these two specific adaptations. It begins with a consideration of the original function of sacred and aetiological myths and analyses extant versions of the pre-Ovidian myth in visual and written form. Chapter 1 explores how Ovid used the myth to redefine the epic genre, its foregrounding of female experience and reimagining metamorphosis as an experience; it considers the metaphorical potential of the new pursuit section, including pursuit and transformation as representative of the creative process. Chapter 2 explores the ways in which Bernini builds on and yet distils Ovid’s adaptation down to its core moment, where pursuit becomes metamorphosis. It also considers the influence of the catholic church, and the sculpture’s relationship with other contemporary and classical works of art and poetry, such as the Apollo Belvedere, the Apollo Sauroktonos, The Sleeping Hermaphrodite, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Petrarch and Giambattista Marino, notably in the work’s aesthetic and its exploration of gender. Finally, it highlights the ingenuity of the sculpture’s use of three-dimensional space to depict the illusion of narrative and dynamic time within a stationary sculpture.

The creative comprises a collection of multi-genre short stories entitled All Time is But Light and Shadow, exploring the themes of the Apollo and Daphne myth, including thwarted female agency, metamorphosis as a means of reducing and protecting, and the strange ways that fathers save their daughters. It also explores artistry itself, the creative process and specifically the making of sculpture, and the worlds of Bernini and Ovid. The stories are written with varying degrees of realism: future worlds without trees, worlds in which sculptures possess consciousness and metamorphosis as a natural part of life. Throughout it all is the language of sculpture, of cutting and chipping stone, of a world in three dimensions, of time measured purely by light and dark; and the many different voices of Daphne.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2024 13:50
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2024 13:50


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