Postgraduate Reasearch Paper - The Neverending Story
April 6, 2010 2:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm writing a postgrad research paper on Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has done any academic work on the novel, or those who have a personal interest in understanding aspects of the novel. Very little in terms of scholarly research exists on the topic to date . My particular focus is a Jungian analysis of archetypes within the novel. It's an introduction of sorts, a quick overview (10 000 words) of a topic I have the potential of working onto a longer thesis.
posted by New England Cultist to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What sort of information are you looking for?

I researched the topic for personal interest for a while (focusing on the movie version), particularly in relation to Joseph Campbell, video games, 80s pop culture, and folk tales. A lot has already been written on this topic so it depends on what angle you're approaching it from.
posted by destro at 4:12 PM on April 6, 2010

I'm sure there's work on modern myth making you could use, stuff about tolkien or star wars... I don't do enough work in the field to recommend anything, but a google search of modern mythmaking (which I assume you've already done) turns up alot of stuff.
posted by ServSci at 4:17 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: I am using aspects of Campbell as a source. Yes, research on myth is plentiful; research pertaining to Ende and his work is not.

destro - the movie warps Ende's novel in too mmany ways to mention. The novel is a much deeper, darker work with several undercurrents of esoteric thought running throughout. If you haven't read the novel, I would really recommend it.
posted by New England Cultist at 5:06 PM on April 6, 2010

There's something to be made of the Auryn inscription and Thelema, certainly, but you may find much more research on The Neverending Story (which I love) in German than in English. Ende had a bad experience with contemporary literary criticism in Germany, however.
posted by Paragon at 5:38 PM on April 6, 2010

Well, I have a personal interest in understanding aspects of the novel, but . . . what's your question?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:40 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Paragon - yes, Thelemic influence is very prominent - this and other esoteric elements is what I hope to expand on more in the extended thesis. And you're right, there is somewhat more on Ende in German, and luckily I do have access to a translator.

PhoBWanKenobi - my brain's in a bit of a spaz. Right now I'm looking at the Mother and Anima archetypes, which there seem to be a whole collection of - Xaiyde, Dame Eyola being the seemingly obvious inclinations for Dark and Light Mother respectively. It's the Childlike Empress that's a bit of an enigma; at first, I thought she may be Bastian's Anima, but I'm not completely convinced.

Also, Bastian's Shadow presents some difficulties, as the Shadow is usually the opposite sex.
posted by New England Cultist at 8:06 PM on April 6, 2010

I'm not sure if you'll find much, but it'd be worth checking out the DNB holdings on Ende. Thelema is tricky, because if I remember correctly Ende disavowed any connection to Crowley, preferring the earlier Rabelais and Augustine versions of the saying.
posted by Paragon at 8:38 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: That's true, though he did express an interest in Crowley at a younger age when he was also reading Rosenkreutz, Swedenborg and Kierkegaard. There is also evidence that he had a keen interest in Kabala, anthroposophy, Zen and Indian and Egyptian belief systems.

Ta for the link.
posted by New England Cultist at 8:56 PM on April 6, 2010

Neat. I have a German-language copy of The Neverending Story I could loan if you need to cite untranslated.
posted by Paragon at 9:00 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Oh bless - I have access to one, although my supervisor has suggested I stick to the English translation because of the brevity of the paper.
posted by New England Cultist at 9:19 PM on April 6, 2010

I watched this for the first time since I was 8 over the weekend. I'm 33 now and I was shocked at how much of this movie made it's way into my subconscious view of the world. It certainly does have something going for it.
posted by Ultrahuman at 11:03 PM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: Ultrahuman - it's a veritable Jungian field day.

The chapter I'm writing now concerns Bastian's manifestation of his Light and Dark Mothers in the form of Dame Eyola and Xayide respectively.
posted by New England Cultist at 9:51 PM on April 10, 2010

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