reappearance into the world
February 4, 2007 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone think of a story/film/folk tale/fairy tale where someone disappeared for a long time and then suddenly came back?

Pretty broad question. I'm kind of racking my brains.
posted by dydecker to Media & Arts (52 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
other than rip van winkle? or do you mean from a differnt pov?
posted by edgeways at 1:17 PM on February 4, 2007


The Count of Monte Cristo, maybe?
posted by Durin's Bane at 1:20 PM on February 4, 2007


Roger Zelazny's main protagonist in the Dilvish books

There are a lot of Sci Fic books that use technolog Space flight/cryogenics/??? to achieve this effect.

I think, functionally this question is too broad. Can you narrow what your looking for?
posted by edgeways at 1:20 PM on February 4, 2007


Response by poster: Yes, Rip Van Winkle is good. I'm not searching for a particular story, I just need a reference point for a bit of writing I'm doing.
posted by dydecker at 1:21 PM on February 4, 2007


Sleeping Beauty.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2007


The Return
Cast Away
posted by scody at 1:22 PM on February 4, 2007


The Mayor of Casterbridge
Olivier, Olivier
posted by dobbs at 1:24 PM on February 4, 2007


Gulliver's Travels?
posted by moonshine at 1:24 PM on February 4, 2007


Not entirely sure whether it fits the bill but I happened to think of The Majestic.
posted by rycee at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2007


Kaspar Hauser comes to mind.

The novel Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey also examines this issue.
posted by sueinnyc at 1:30 PM on February 4, 2007


Best answer: The Return of Martin Guerre?
posted by themadjuggler at 1:31 PM on February 4, 2007


Flight of a Witch, Ellis Peters.
posted by paduasoy at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2007


Any story which embodies the Return aspect of the Monomyth?
posted by vacapinta at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2007


Best answer: Martin Guerre

the story was made into a french film starring gerard depardieu, and later there was an american remake with richard gere
posted by seawallrunner at 1:33 PM on February 4, 2007


Sommersby
posted by nj_subgenius at 1:33 PM on February 4, 2007


Prodigal Son?
posted by furtive at 1:38 PM on February 4, 2007


the odyssey
posted by alex3005 at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2007


Specifically, The Odyssey.
posted by vacapinta at 1:40 PM on February 4, 2007


Tam Lyn
posted by zia at 1:41 PM on February 4, 2007


Dallas? Bobby Ewing's return. It was all a dream... :)
posted by mooders at 1:51 PM on February 4, 2007


Paycheck
posted by rhizome at 1:57 PM on February 4, 2007


Urashima Taro
posted by clearlydemon at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2007


The classic 1986 movie Flight of the Navigator.
posted by brookedel at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2007


Tennyson's "Enoch Arden", which was made into some silent films and also inspired the comedy My Favorite Wife.
posted by brujita at 1:59 PM on February 4, 2007


The Prodigal Son from the New Testament of The Bible (Luke 15:11-32)

[See also: its Buddhist parallel]
posted by Lush at 2:02 PM on February 4, 2007


My friend was working on an opera about a race of very small people (inches tall) that lived in the salad bar. A boy was born who grew to be a few feet high and went on to be a champion luger (lugeist? one who participates in the sport of luge). On his final run at the olympics he broke all luge records … but at the end of his run he didn't stop. He just kept luging and disappeared. The opera opens 17 years later when he returns to the salad bar. His name—and the name of the opera—was Ninnian.

I know that doesn't help. Sorry.

posted by wemayfreeze at 2:07 PM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Thank you all for your great answers. I found exactly the perfect example - the Martin Guerre story. Ask Metafilter is a excellent resource for these kind of questions.
posted by dydecker at 2:10 PM on February 4, 2007


Apparently you already have your answer, but I commend to your attention the first season of "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin", if you can find it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:27 PM on February 4, 2007


Well, the problem's been all solved, I guess. But I can't believe that no one's mentioned Hermione in The Winter's Tale. Scandalous!
posted by washburn at 2:34 PM on February 4, 2007


Fry in Futurama!
posted by mendel at 3:10 PM on February 4, 2007


In Nordic Mythology: Though he isn't absent textually for very long, Loki (the Shape Changer) takes leave of Asgard for several months for fear of reprisal by Odin after the The Building of Asgard's Wall.

Loki only returns after giving birth to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, which he uses to appease Odin and pacify his anger.
posted by numinous at 3:26 PM on February 4, 2007


I'm surprised no-one has mentioned The Seven Sleepers, Al-Kahf, or King Arthur.
posted by Paragon at 3:27 PM on February 4, 2007


Does 5 years count as a long time?

Who Loves the Sun (I haven't seen it)
Superman Returns
posted by puritycontrol at 3:45 PM on February 4, 2007


The 4400
posted by BigLankyBastard at 3:49 PM on February 4, 2007


Oisín.
posted by zadcat at 4:37 PM on February 4, 2007


Am I the first to mention Red Dwarf?
posted by JaredSeth at 5:37 PM on February 4, 2007


H.G. Wells, When the Sleeper Wakes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:05 PM on February 4, 2007


(possible simpsons spoiler below)









Since you seem to be interested in Martin Guerre, Principal Skinner's tale closely resembles the frenchman's.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:09 PM on February 4, 2007


The Marriage of Maria Braun Fassbinder's ninth fav film
posted by hortense at 8:07 PM on February 4, 2007


There was an episode of Amazing Stories, I believe, that a little girl was lost all of a sudden while playing in the neighborhood and later she returned to home elderly parents, right on the doorstop as if she was just coming home from playing, still little.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 8:37 PM on February 4, 2007


Buffy Season Six.

Angel Seasons Three and Four.

The Martin Guerre story is also reminiscent of the Tichborne Case, which was in turn turned into a fine Borges short story.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:38 PM on February 4, 2007


Fry, in Futurama
posted by magikker at 9:57 PM on February 4, 2007


Oisín left Ireland to marry and live in Tír na nÓg for what seemed like three years, but when he came back to Ireland three hundred years had passed.
posted by stavrogin at 9:57 PM on February 4, 2007


Waiting for Godot - The sequel, I mean.
posted by Baldons at 2:19 AM on February 5, 2007


The Deep End of the Ocean. Best selling novel about a missing child.
posted by Coaticass at 3:08 AM on February 5, 2007


David, in Flight of the Navigator. (spoiler)
posted by carsonb at 7:10 AM on February 5, 2007


Lord of the Rings, for one. This is a pretty common trope, I think.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 7:14 AM on February 5, 2007


When the Pevensies are summoned in Prince Caspian.
posted by brujita at 8:16 AM on February 5, 2007


Captain America

Grosse Pointe Blank
posted by Scoo at 10:17 AM on February 5, 2007


I don't remember a "goes away for a long time and suddenly comes back" element in Lord of the Rings.
posted by zadcat at 11:29 PM on February 5, 2007


return of the native by thomas hardy
posted by lovehandles at 1:40 AM on February 6, 2007


Zadcat: um, spoiler, I guess, but Gandalf.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 8:17 AM on February 9, 2007


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