Guide to Literary Terms

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What is fantasy?

Fantasy is a genre of imaginative, fictional literature, often involving magic or made-up settings.

Fantasy

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Fantasy is a genre of imaginative, fictional literature, often involving magic or made-up settings. Fantasy differs from other genres of literature in that its stories include elements that place them outside the realm of possibility or reality.

Fantasy stems from the Greek word phantasia, meaning “imagination, appearance,” from phantazein (“to make visible”), which in turn comes from phaos (“light”).

Famous works of fantasy include Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series and C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series.

see: fable, science fiction

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