These thirteen original essays were written specifically for the Third J. Lloyd Eaton Conference on Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, held February 21–22, 1981, at the University of California, Riverside.
Leslie Fiedler sets the tone of this volume by fixing a basic set of coordinates—that of “elitist” and “popular” standards.
Those replying to his charge are: Eric S. Rabkin, Professor of English at the University of Michigan and author of The Fantasticin Literature, “The Descent of Fantasy”; Gerald Prince, Professor of French at the University of Pennsylvania, “How New is New?”; Mark Rose, Professor of English at the University of California at Santa Barbara, author of Alien Encounters, “Jules Verne: Journey to the Center of Science Fiction”; Joseph Lenz, who teaches English Literature at the University of Michigan, “Manifest Destiny: Science Fiction Epic and Classical Forms”; Michelle Massé, of the English Department at the George Mason University, “‘All you have to do is know what you want’: Individual Expectations in Triton”;Gary K. Wolfe, who teaches English at Roosevelt University, author of The Known and the Unknown, “Autoplastic and Alloplastic Adaptations in Science Fiction: ‘Waldo’ and ‘Desertion’”; Robert Hunt, an editor with Glencoe Press, “Science Fiction for the Age of Inflation: Reading Atlas Shrugged in the 1980s”; George R. Guffey, Professor of English at UCLA, “Fahrenheit451and the ‘Cubby-Hole Editors’ of Ballantine Books”; H. Bruce Franklin, Professor of English and American Literature at Rutgers University at Newark, “America as Science Fiction: 1939”; Sandra M. Gilbert, Professor of English at the University of California at Davis, and coauthor with Susan Gubar of Madwoman in the Attic, “Rider Haggard’s Heart of Darkness”; the aforementioned Susan Gubar, Professor of English at Indiana University, “She in Her/and: Feminism as Fantasy”; and George R. Slusser, Curator of the Eaton Collection, “Death and the Mirror: Existential Fantasy.”
The surprising and controversial thesis of Feminist Fabulation is unflinching: the postmodern canon has systematically excluded a wide range of important women's writing by dismissing it as genre fiction. Marleen Barr issues an urgent call for a corrective, for the recognition of a new meta- or supergenre of contemporary writing--feminist fabulation--which includes both acclaimed mainstream works and works which today's critics consistently ignore.
These 17 essays from the seventh annual J. Lloyd Eaton Conference examine the relationship between fantasy and science fiction.
They propose that fantasy and science fiction are not isolated commercial literary forms, but instead are literary forms worthy of the recognition reserved for traditional literature. Discussion of genre identification ranges from the standard forms of literary criticism embodied in Aristotle’s mimesis and poesis to innovative and possibly controversial points of view such as a theory of humor, a philosophy of time, and a detailed analysis of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat.
The essays provide not only a detailed study of literary elements but also the historical treatment of the material, its commercial use, and its relationship to similar literary forms such as the gothic tale and horror fiction. While few of the essayists agree with one another, they all contribute creative insights to the debate.
This capacious anthology has selections from the authors you would expect to find, from others you may be less familiar with, and from writers you might not expect to show up in this company. The result is a treasure trove of unusual fiction, one of the most exciting anthologies to appear in the last decade. This is a poet's companion, a student's delight, great bedside reading: the kind of book you'd take to a desert island!
Courtesan and criminal, thief and trollop, warrior and wanderer—the picara embodies the continuing archetypal pattern of a woman’s autonomy. She is the sly sharpster in Defoe’s heroines such as Roxana and Moll Flanders. With an ancestress like Becky Sharp, the picara evolves into Scarlett O’Hara before finding a comfortable niche as the female hero in fantasy written by women. The Picara traces the development of this character, from an autonomous woman in a harsh patriarchal society to the female hero of the modern fantasy novel.
From The Hobbit to Harry Potter, how fantasy harnesses the cultural power of magic, medievalism, and childhood to re-enchant the modern world
Why are so many people drawn to fantasy set in medieval, British-looking lands? This question has immediate significance for millions around the world: from fans of Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones to those who avoid fantasy because of the racist, sexist, and escapist tendencies they have found there. Drawing on the history and power of children’s fantasy literature, Re-Enchanted argues that magic, medievalism, and childhood hold the paradoxical ability to re-enchant modern life.
Focusing on works by authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Philip Pullman, J. K. Rowling, and Nnedi Okorafor, Re-Enchanted uncovers a new genealogy for medievalist fantasy—one that reveals the genre to be as important to the history of English studies and literary modernism as it is to shaping beliefs across geographies and generations. Maria Sachiko Cecire follows children’s fantasy as it transforms over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—including the rise of diverse counternarratives and fantasy’s move into “high-brow” literary fiction. Grounded in a combination of archival scholarship and literary and cultural analysis, Re-Enchanted argues that medievalist fantasy has become a psychologized landscape for contemporary explorations of what it means to grow up, live well, and belong. The influential “Oxford School” of children’s fantasy connects to key issues throughout this book, from the legacies of empire and racial exclusion in children’s literature to what Christmas magic tells us about the roles of childhood and enchantment in Anglo-American culture.
Re-Enchanted engages with critical debates around what constitutes high and low culture during moments of crisis in the humanities, political and affective uses of childhood and the mythological past, the anxieties of modernity, and the social impact of racially charged origin stories.
In the early 1600s, in a haunting tale titled New Atlantis, Sir Francis Bacon imagined the discovery of an uncharted island. This island was home to the descendants of the lost realm of Atlantis, who had organized themselves to seek “the knowledge of Causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible.” Bacon’s make-believe island was not an empire in the usual sense, marked by territorial control; instead, it was the center of a vast general expansion of human knowledge and power.
Rosalind Williams uses Bacon’s island as a jumping-off point to explore the overarching historical event of our time: the rise and triumph of human empire, the apotheosis of the modern ambition to increase knowledge and power in order to achieve world domination. Confronting an intensely humanized world was a singular event of consciousness, which Williams explores through the lives and works of three writers of the late nineteenth century: Jules Verne, William Morris, and Robert Louis Stevenson. As the century drew to a close, these writers were unhappy with the direction in which their world seemed to be headed and worried that organized humanity would use knowledge and power for unworthy ends. In response, Williams shows, each engaged in a lifelong quest to make a home in the midst of human empire, to transcend it, and most of all to understand it. They accomplished this first by taking to the water: in life and in art, the transition from land to water offered them release from the condition of human domination. At the same time, each writer transformed his world by exploring the literary boundary between realism and romance. Williams shows how Verne, Morris, and Stevenson experimented with romance and fantasy and how these traditions allowed them to express their growing awareness of the need for a new relationship between humans and Earth.
The Triumph of Human Empire shows that for these writers and their readers romance was an exceptionally powerful way of grappling with the political, technical, and environmental situations of modernity. As environmental consciousness rises in our time, along with evidence that our seeming control over nature is pathological and unpredictable, Williams’s history is one that speaks very much to the present.