Fantasy in Contemporary Literature Criticism: Women Writers And Fantasy - Essay

Charlotte Spivack (essay date 1987)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Spivack, Charlotte. “Fantasy and the Feminine.” In Merlin's Daughters: Contemporary Women Writers of Fantasy, pp. 3-16. New York, N.Y.: Greenwood Press, 1987.

[In the following essay, Spivack provides a brief overview of fantasy literature and theory, focusing on ways in which women writers have modified the fantasy genre to demonstrate self-fulfillment and the preservation of community.]

In spite of the pervasive critical ambivalence toward individual works of fantasy, the theory of fantasy literature has attracted much critical attention in recent years. Pioneering attempts to define the nature of “the fantastic” were Harvey Cox's The Feast of...

(The entire section is 6404 words.)

Lucie Armitt (essay date 2000)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Armitt, Lucie. “The Grotesque Utopia: Joanna Russ, Jeanette Winterson, Angela Carter, Jane Palmer and Monique Wittig.” In Contemporary Women's Fiction and the Fantastic, pp. 15-38. London, Eng.: Macmillan, 2000.

[In the following essay, Armitt discusses the significance and use of utopian fantasy worlds in the writings of several women authors.]

And once the old world has turned on its axle so that the new dawn can dawn, then, ah, then! all the women will have wings …1

Fictional utopias can be deceptively unsatisfactory. Elsewhere I have even claimed they may be threatened by redundancy, being...

(The entire section is 10781 words.)