Ritchie Robertson



Mathew Abbott Reviews Justin Clemens

MundiadWhat was mock epic? I use the past tense because the genre is thought to have died in the nineteenth century. According to a recent study by Professor Ritchie Robertson, a Queen’s College fellow and Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at Oxford University, mock epic died because epic lost its authoritative status: it was only possible to write a real mock epic in a time ‘when serious epics were being written and read in large numbers, manag[ing] to attain a position of cultural authority remotely comparable to that of Homer, Virgil, or Milton.’ Mock epic needed something prestigious to mock; when the epic lost its prestige mock epic lost its reason for being.

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