An analysis of two forms that dominate fantasy literature.
Prosimetrum, the alternation between verse and prose as a narrative form, was an extremely popular form of writing in the ancient and medieval world. This talk asks why prosimetrum has survived as a literary form in modern fantasy literature and explores how fantasy writers like Tolkien and Kay employ shifts between verse and prose to dramatic effect within their work.
Dr Katherine Marie Olley is the VH Galbraith Junior Research Fellow in Medieval Studies at St Hilda’s College, Oxford where she is currently researching childbirth in Old Norse literature and society. She studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge (BA Hons, MPhil) and received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2019 for her dissertation on kinship in Old Norse myth and legend.