Fantasy in Contemporary Literature Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

T. E. Apter (essay date 1982)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Apter, T. E. “Introduction: Fantasy and Psychoanalysis.” In Fantasy Literature: An Approach to Reality, pp. 1-11. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1982.

[In the following essay, Apter explores the role and significance of fantasy in literature, contending that psychoanalytic theory offers a useful means of studying the unique difficulties posed by fantasy literature.]

The aim and purpose of fantasy in literature are not necessarily different from those of the most exacting realism. What is called ‘truth’ in fiction is often hypothetical: if a character has certain traits, then one is likely to find, or enlightened by finding in him, other,...

(The entire section is 4725 words.)

Richard Alan Schwartz (essay date 1985)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Schwartz, Richard Alan. “The Fantastic in Contemporary Fiction.” In The Scope of the Fantastic—Theory, Technique, Major Authors: Selected Essays from the First International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film, edited by Robert A. Collins and Howard D. Pierce, pp. 27-32. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1985.

[In the following essay, Schwartz reflects upon the resurgence of fantasy literature in the twentieth century, theorizing that this return to the fantastic is a means for modern authors to create a sense of order in a fast-changing and chaotic world.]

The turn to the fantastic in literature represents in some ways a...

(The entire section is 2736 words.)

Charles Rougle (essay date autumn 1990)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rougle, Charles. “On the ‘Fantastic’ Trend in Recent Soviet Prose.” Slavic and East European Journal 34, no. 3 (autumn 1990): 308-21.

[In the following essay, Rougle expounds on the increasing use of fantasy elements in Russian literature, especially during the 1970s and later. He also examines the major sources for fantasy elements as they are used in modern Russian literature, as well as common themes in these works, attempting to determine a common ideological ground in order to place this trend in a historical perspective.]

Until relatively recently, Soviet literature was very much dominated by normative definitions of realism which dictated, among...

(The entire section is 6764 words.)

Mikita Brottman and David Sterritt (essay date 21 December 2001)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Brottman, Mikita, and David Sterritt. “Allegory and Enigma: Fantasy's Enduring Appeal.” Chronicle of Higher Education 48, no. 17 (21 December 2001): B16.

[In the following essay, Brottman and Sterritt discuss the renewed popularity of traditional fantasy elements, such as wizards and goblins, in contemporary literature, contending that the idealized settings of many modern works of fantasy provide a welcome escape from the mundane and ordinary aspects of life.]

Harry Potter's enormous popularity and moviegoers' keen anticipation of The Lord of the Rings reconfirm the enduring desire of both children and adults to immerse themselves in fantasy...

(The entire section is 1684 words.)