Michael Field’s Long Ago (1889): A Transcendental Mythopoesis of Desire and Death
Keywords:Michael Field, Long Ago, Sappho, desire, death
In this article, I propose a new reading of Michael Field’s Long Ago (1889) focused on explaining how this volume of verse appropriates the figure of Sappho, rewrites her failed romance with Phaon, and amplifies her archetypal image of tragic lover through a mythopoetic narrative that refashions different classical myths of desire, despair and death. I present all these myths jointly, discuss their assonances with the Sapphic archetype, and reveal how they constitute a coherent and elaborate mythography that portrays Sappho as a tragic heroine who, through the power of myth, embodies a universal paradigm of human affectivity.
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