Fantasy: Definition and Examples | Literary Terms

 

definition of fantasy literature

Fantasy literature is fantasy in written form. Historically speaking, literature has composed the majority of fantasy works. Since the s however, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music, painting, and other media. Definition of Fantasy Fantasy is a form of literary genre in which a plot cannot occur in the real world. Its plot usually involves witchcraft or magic, taking place . What is fantasy fiction? Fantasy fiction is a genre of writing in which the plot could not happen in real life (as we know it, at least). Often, the plot involves magic or witchcraft and takes place on another planet or in another — undiscovered — dimension of this world.


Fantasy Literature | Article about Fantasy Literature by The Free Dictionary


Fantasy literature originated in popular myths, as expressed in the fairy tale and the heroic epic. It is the product of many centuries of popular literary creativity. At the same time, definition of fantasy literature, fantasy literature is a continuation of that creativity, utilizing and renewing traditional mythological and fairy-tale characters, themes, and plots and combining them with elements from history and contemporary life.

The result is a series of archetypes that combine fantasy and verisimilitude, that conform to the moral and aesthetic principles of an imaginary universe, and that constitute a continuously developing literary mosaic. Fantasy literature evolved together with realistic literature and used realistic and other literary means of depicting ideas, passions, and events. The interrelationship between fantasy literature and romanticism proved to be particularly fruitful.

Fantasy literature became a distinct type of literature when folklore separated from mythology and ritual magic. The primitive world view had become inconsistent with history and consequently fantastic; it did not correspond to new concepts of reality.

The inception of fantasy literature was marked by a new aesthetic manner of depicting marvels that was not typical of primitive folklore.

A literary stratification took place: heroic folktales and tales about noble heroes became heroic epics, definition of fantasy literature, that is, popular allegories of historical events in which elements of the miraculous were of secondary importance.

Elements of magic were consciously included in travel narratives and tales about historical events. The plot, characters, and events of the Odyssey initiated Western European fantasy literature. Thus, the main trend of fantasy literature during the classical period was represented by works depicting travels, adventures, quests, and pilgrimages.

A typical subject was a descent into hell. The fantastic plots of A Thousand and One Nights are notable for their sense of national and religious exclusiveness. Indian authors from Kalidasa to Tagore were influenced by fantastic images from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

Together with the chivalric romances of the 14th to 16th centuries, these narrative poems constituted a distinct stage in the development of fantasy literature.

A landmark in the evolution of the allegory originated by Ovid was the Roman de la Rose 13th centuryby Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. More and T. Campanella andrespectivelywere essentially didactic treatises. Only with F. The religious and mythological concepts of the Bible were less influential on fantasy literature than were ancient mythology and folklore. At the same time, European medieval and Renaissance fantasy literature generally contained ethical Christian elements or elements of Christian apocryphal demonology.

Distinct from fantasy literature were the accounts of the lives of the saints, in which miracles tended to be depicted as exceptional occurrences. The Christian mythological consciousness also developed a unique literature of visions. Beginning with the Revelation of St.

John the Divine, the vision or revelation becomes an independent literary genre; examples were W. The revelation, unlike the lives of the saints, contrasted a supernatural level of existence to earthly life.

The visionary fantasies of W. Toward the late 17th century classicism replaced mannerism and the baroque, whose setting was typically one of fantasy. An aesthetic concept of fantasy developed, and the former vivid sense of the miraculous was lost.

Classicism, with its rational approach to the mythical, was alien to fantasy literature. In the novels of the 17th and 18th centuries, definition of fantasy literature, themes and images of fantasy supplemented the plot.

In the second half of the 18th century a reaction to the dominance of enlightened rationalism took place. The English writer R. Hurd appealed for a thorough study of fantasy literature in Letters on Chivalry and Romance Walpole, A.

Radcliffe, M. Lewis, and W. Fantasy literature provided accessories for romantic plots, although it continued to play a subsidiary role. The duality inherent in the images and events of the Gothic novel became an element of preromanticism. The Jena definition of fantasy literature of writers viewed fantasizing, or striving toward a distant world of myths and legends, as a lifelong goal and the way to enlightenment.

This striving could be relatively felicitous and promising, owing to the use of romantic irony, as in the works of L. The same striving could also be sorrowful and tragic, as in the case of Novalis, whose unfinished novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen was a definition of fantasy literature example of the revived allegory conceived as a search for the unattainable and unfathomable ideally spiritual world.

The Heidelberg school of writers took from fantasy literature themes that imparted added interest to historical events; an example was L. This pragmatic approach to fantasy literature was used for a long time. In seeking to add to the resources of the fantastic, the German romantics turned to the origins of fantasy literature.

The fairy tale became a genre of European literature and has remained the main form of fantasy literature for children. Romantic fantasy literature was synthesized in the works of E. Definition of fantasy literature Faust the Utopian ideal is devoid of fantasy and is projected into the future. In Russia, romantic fantasy literature was represented in the works of V. Zhukovskii, V. Odoevskii, A. Pushkin used fantasy in his narrative poem Ruslan and Liudmilawhich was strongly influenced by byliny epic folk songs and folktales.

With the establishment of critical realism, fantasy was again on the periphery of literature, although it was often used in certain contexts to impart a symbolical atmosphere to realistically depicted scenes, as seen in works by C. Verne and H. Wells was distinct from the established tradition of fantasy literature. Science fiction portrays the real world transformed by science for better or worse and revealed in a new light to the explorer.

Science fiction dealing with the exploration of space involves the discovery of other worlds that are inevitably related to those of the traditional folktale, but the relationship is of minor importance. Interest in fantasy literature revived in the late definition of fantasy literature century, as seen in works by the neoromantic writer R. Stevenson, the decadent writers M. Schwob and F. Sologub, definition of fantasy literature, the symbolists Maeterlinck and Blok, definition of fantasy literature, the expressionist G.

Meyrink, definition of fantasy literature, and the surrealists H. Kasack and E. Carroll, C. Collodi, and A. Similar works in Soviet literature were written by A.

Nosov, and K. Grin created an imaginary world whose themes and images came from folktales and Western adventure fiction. Neo-Gothic fantasy literature has been well represented in the 20th century in the works of W. Lovecraft, and J. In the second half definition of fantasy literature the 20th century fantasy literature has generally been confined to science fiction, although fantasy is an element of such innovative works as the trilogy by the English writer J.

Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings —55which is in the epic fantasy tradition, the novels and plays of Kobo Abe, definition of fantasy literature works by the Spanish and Latin-American writers A. Sastre and J. Contemporary literature makes use of fantasy when an outwardly realistic narrative has a symbolical or allegorical meaning. The fantastic allegory is represented in Soviet literature by N. Other Soviet works of fantasy literature are P. Fantasy literature continues to be a vital and productive literary genre.

Geroi volshebnoi skazki. Moscow, Meletinskii, E. Kagarlitskii, Iu. Chto takoe fantastika? Bakhtin, M. Voprosy literatury i estetiki. Gould, S. Curious Myths of the Middle Ages. London, Paris, Frye, N. Fables of Identity.

New York, Todorov, T. Campbell, J. The Flight of the Wild Gander, definition of fantasy literature. Chicago, Kennard, J. Hamden, Conn, definition of fantasy literature.

 

What is fantasy fiction?

 

definition of fantasy literature

 

What is fantasy fiction? Fantasy fiction is a genre of writing in which the plot could not happen in real life (as we know it, at least). Often, the plot involves magic or witchcraft and takes place on another planet or in another — undiscovered — dimension of this world. Fantasy literature is fantasy in written form. Historically speaking, literature has composed the majority of fantasy works. Since the s however, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music, painting, and other media. Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Magic, the supernatural and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds. Fantasy literature .