The Postmodern Fantastic in Contemporary British Fiction

Wissenshaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2004 - 222 páginas
This study looks at the complex relationship between postmodernism and the fantastic in contemporary British fiction and shows that a new type of the fantastic arises in postmodernism. Arguing against interpretations that view postmodernism as inherently fantastic, it seeks to define the postmodern fantastic as a narrative mode that is influenced by certain traits both of the traditional fantastic and of literary postmodernism but does not simply conflate both. In the first theoretical part, a number of theories of the fantastic and of postmodernism are used to set the fantastic apart from other non-mimetic forms of literature and to create a model of the postmodern fantastic that postulates the totalisation of the fantastic in postmodernism. In the second part of this study, this model is applied to a number of contemporary British texts which are particularly susceptible to this form of the fantastic due to several characteristics such as their muted kind of postmodernism and their frequent construction of parallel worlds. The analysis of these texts focuses on four thematic fields of the postmodern fantastic: the figure of the other as defined by Bernhard Waldenfels, time and history, text and textuality and the development of the Todorovian pure fantastic. Finally, the question of the death of the fantastic in postmodernism is examined.

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Theories of the Fantastic
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