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Lans Smith

Lans Smith

Lans Smith

Evans Lansing (“Lans”) Smith, Ph.D., received a B.A. in English from Williams College, an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch International (London and Dublin), and a Ph.D. in Literature from The Claremont Graduate School. He traveled with the late Joseph Campbell, on study tours of northern France, Egypt, and Kenya, and he studied literature in England, at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Since then, he has taught at colleges in California, Switzerland, Maryland, and Texas, where he is currently Professor of English at Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls. He has published five previous books, and numerous articles, on comparative mythology and literature. He has been nominated for “International Writer of the Year 2003” by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, England. Lans is married to Michelle Ruppert, Director of the Honors Program at the University, and they have three children, Anita, Charles, and Angela. Lans and Michelle regularly deliver slide-illustrated lectures on mythology to a wide variety of audiences.

Articlesby Lans Smith

Merlin

Merlin and Vivienne

There are several stories about the birth, life, and death of Merlin—always a mercurial, evasive figure. In those of the Middle Ages, he is conceived when a demon sleeps with his mother, a nun. Hence, he is born with supernatural powers, including knowledge of all things past from his demonic father, and of all things future from his Christian mother.

Gawain and the Loathly Damsel

Gawain and the Loathly Damsel

The story begins with Arthur hunting deer, when he encounters a man (oddly named Sir Gromer Somer) who accuses him of stealing his land and giving it to Gawain. The man threatens to kill or decapitate Arthur if he can’t find out what women love best within a year’s time.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

This magnificent poem is permeated with the imagery of the archetypal feminine, here incarnated by a woman simply called “Morgan the Goddess”. Morgan’s emissary is the Green Knight, a giant who bursts into Camelot, all clad in green, with an ax in one hand, and a holly bob in the other.

Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival: Gawain and Orgeluse

Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival: Gawain and Orgeluse

We continue with Lans Smith’s series The Grail Romances of the Middle Ages. In this blog Gawain encounters different forms of the feminine or the anima.

Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival: Parzival and Condwiramours

Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival: Parzival and Condwiramours

This article is Part 4 in a series about The Grail Romances of the Middle Ages and the Individuation Process by Lans Smith Parzival grows up alone, far from the…

Chretien’s “The Knight of the Cart”

Chretien’s “The Knight of the Cart”

One of the greatest Arthurian romances about marriage and relationship concerns the adulterous love between Lancelot and Guenevere.

Chretiens - Knight with the Lion

Chretien’s “Knight with the Lion”

This marvelous story charts Yvain’s gradual development from an egocentric youth to a mature adult and responsible husband, more responsive to the needs of others than to his own.

Dreams and the Call to Adventure

Dreams and the Call to Adventure

As we all continue to adjust to a growing atmosphere of uncertainty, anxieties and worries about what’s next in the political and economic spheres, I came across a book in my library that I had forgotten having purchased…

Introduction to The Grail Romances of the Middle Ages and the Individuation Process

The Grail Romances of the Middle Ages and the Individuation Process

All the great themes of Jungian psychology are present in Wolfram’s splendid poem, Parzival, of 1220. It offers the most spectacular version of the Grail quest in all of European literature…