another, whether in an elaborate time machine, through the back of a
wardrobe, a blow on the head or some other visionary or technological
means. This is where medievalism often meets sciencefiction. Doctor
Who, for example, travelled in his TARDIS to the Middle Ages on a number
of occasions. 27 Sometimes,
the mechanisms for moving backward in time draw on the conceptual
William Morris’s News from Nowhere and Chaucer’s dream visions
John M. Ganim
1 William Morris, News from Nowhere, in Three Works by William
Morris, ed. A. L. Morton (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1968),
2 Stephanie Trigg, ‘Bluestone and the city: writing an emotional
history’, Melbourne Historical Journal, 44:1 (2017), 41–53.
3 Richard Sennett, Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western
Civilization (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996).
4 Sennett, Flesh and Stone, p. 159.
5 Sennett, Flesh and Stone, p. 18.
6 Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia
and Other ScienceFictions (London
Macrobius’s five climates were sometimes multiplied to seven,
each one dominated by a particular planet, stressing the intimacy of
the atmospheric to the mundane. Our desire to be less Earthbound,
at least during the space of a dream or a sciencefiction film or a
narrative poem about the last days of Troy, is a desire to escape our
entanglement in a world that exceeds us and yet remains intimate
to our thoughts and deeds. We never quite manage that liberation,
at least not for long. Though the price of its achievement is death,
Troilus attains a critical distance from
people for reasons that presently escape us, but they are just as likely to be simply the natural features of a glacial rock.
Thanks to Dan Brown, whose 2003 mystery novel The Da Vinci Code is briefly set within the chapel, Rosslyn has had a huge influx of tourists and funding to help with the upkeep of what is indeed an important and beautiful structure. But the chapel’s connection to alleged Viking sites in Massachusetts or Rhode Island is the stuff of fantasy, if not sciencefiction. Perhaps Newport’s tower, like Keats’s more famous urn, is fated, though to a
hypermodernity of a sciencefiction future, Rubey discerned the patterns of the past. One pattern
was the structural dependence of Star Wars on medieval romance.
Rubey observed that the film highlighted an Oedipal struggle that is
also often found in medieval romance. The other was the films’
employment of the imagery of the Second World War, particularly its
dog-fight battle sequences, which Rubey argued was
in the Middle
Ages, spaghetti westerns, sciencefiction movies, neogothic films, and
even Hong Kong action cinema’. 2 Richard Burt understands medieval
film less in terms of genre than in terms of content to mean ‘films set
in the Middle Ages as well as films with contemporary settings that
allude to the Middle Ages or are anchored in them’; while Tison Pugh and
Lynn Ramey opt for a cautious