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"The Romantic Fantastic" by Tobin Siebers
Pages 2 (502 words)
The Romantic Fantastic" establishes the fantastic as a genre, defining it as a hesitation between the supernatural and the uncanny. The supernatural, like fantasy, deals with an "unreal" world, a world not defined in terms of the laws we know. In the world of the supernatural, frogs can turn into princes at the touch of the beautiful princess, and princesses can be awakened by the kiss of a heroic prince…
One cannot help but to pause upon on the nature of this hesitation, the paradox inherent in the fantastic, and the close ties between the genre and narrative logic.
The process of identification plays a central role in producing the fantastic. The reasons for this importance are rather self-evident: the reader actively participates in the work, continually interpreting actions, trying to classify them (i.e., Do they respect the laws of reality, or are they governed by another order, one with which we are unfamiliar). Involving the readers emotionally in the narrative allows the author to catch them off-guard. That is, one is caught up in the action and is surprised along with the characters by the sudden eruption of an inexplicable occurrence.
Consequently, the moment of shock, of hesitation, caused by this abrupt action is felt by the reader along with the characters in the text. (S)he is participating in the action with the characters, forming images with them and, as such, experiencing shock along with them. Therefore, identification is a crucial criterion for producing the fantastic. ...
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