Masterclass with Marina Warner: "Living in Words: The Question of Myth"

Marina Warner is inviting five Nordic Phd. candidates to come to Bergen in june to take part in the first ever Holberg Masterclass: “Living in Words: The question of myth”.

In times of conflict, migration, and economic tumult, what happens to the culture and history of people who lose their homes? How important is it to keep hold of the mother tongue and its cultural manifestations? What role can the legacy of mythology play? The French classical scholar Jean-Pierre Vernant argued for 'the reason of myth', against detractors who point to such stories' irrationality. But experience reveals that mythic stories and tradition often deepen grudges and excite atavistic forms of nationalism. Can myths enlighten? And can literature informed by myth be strong enough to help?

Relevant readings for the masterclass

  • Jean-Pierre Vernant, 'The Reason of myth' (essay)
  • Seamus Heaney:  The Cure at Troy (translation of Philoctetes by Sophocles)
  • Alice Oswald: Memorial ('excavation' of the Iliad)
  • The final one of the Marina Warner Reith lectures: "Managing Monsters"

The event is open to the general public and free of charge.


House of Literature
Practical information
Free admission