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Fantasy literature

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Title: Fantasy literature  
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Subject: Fantastic art, Fantasy, Sources of fantasy, History of fantasy, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Collection: Fantasy Books, Fantasy Genres
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Fantasy literature

Fantasy literature is the body of written works that utilize the motifs, themes, and stylistic approaches expected in the fantasy genre. Historically, most works of fantasy are written pieces of literature. Since the 1960s however, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music, painting, and other media.


  • History 1
  • Modern 2
  • Style 3
  • See also 4
  • Footnotes 5


Stories involving paranormal magic and terrible monsters have existed in spoken forms before the advent of printed literature. George MacDonald.

J. R. R. Tolkien played a large role in the popularization and accessibility of the fantasy genre with his highly successful publications The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954–55).[1] Rarely does one consider modern fantasy without conjuring the memory and image of Tolkien and his creations. Tolkien was largely influenced by an ancient body of Anglo-Saxon myths, particularly Beowulf, as well as modern works such as The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison. Tolkien's close friend C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and a fellow English professor with a similar array of interests, also helped to publicize the fantasy genre.


The tradition established by these predecessors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has continued to thrive and be adapted by new authors. The influence of J.R.R. Tolkien's fiction has—particularly over the genre of high fantasy—prompted backlash.[2] Works of metafictional fantasy were published in the twentieth century, making reference to the history and literary conventions of the genre, such as Terry Pratchett's Discworld series or Neil Gaiman's Stardust and The Problem of Susan. At the turn of the millennium, the Harry Potter novels of J. K. Rowling achieved widespread popularity.

Though it is not uncommon for fantasy novels to be ranked on

  1. ^ a b Sirangelo Maggio, Sandra; Fritsch, Valter Henrique (2011). in the Modern Fiction"The Lord of the Rings"There and Back Again: Tolkien's . Recorte: Revista Eletrônica 8 (2). Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Fornet-Ponse, Thomas. Tolkien's Influence on Fantasy: Interdisziplinäres Seminar Der DTG 27. Bis 29. April 2012, Jena = Tolkiens Einfluss Auf Die Moderne Fantasy. Vol. 9. Düsseldorf: Scriptorium Oxoniae., n.d. Print.
  3. ^ Best Seller list: November 8, 1998"The New York Times". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ Best Seller list: November 26, 2000"The New York Times". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ Best Seller list: January 26, 2003"The New York Times". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ Best Seller list: October 30, 2005"The New York Times". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ Best Seller list: November 15, 2009"The New York Times". Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Fiction".  
  9. ^ "New York Times bestseller list".  
  10. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Fiction".  
  11. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Fiction".  
  12. ^ bestsellers — Week of January 23, 2005"New York Times"Hawes' archive of . 
  13. ^ 'The New York Times ' ' Best Seller list: March 20, 2011"'". Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Indick, William. Ancient Symbology in Fantasy Literature: A Psychological Study. Jefferson: McFarland &, 2012. Print.
  16. ^ Ursula K. Le Guin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", p 74-5 The Language of the Night ISBN 0-425-05205-2
  17. ^ Ursula K. Le Guin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", p 78-80 The Language of the Night ISBN 0-425-05205-2
  18. ^ Michael Moorcock, Wizardry & Wild Romance: A Study of Epic Fantasy p 35 ISBN 1-932265-07-4
  19. ^ Alec Austin, "Quality in Epic Fantasy". The generic features of historical fantasy literature, as a mode of inverting the real (including nineteenth-century ghost stories, children's stories, city comedies, classical dreams, stories of highway women, and Edens) are discussed in Writing and Fantasy, ed. Ceri Sullivan and Barbara White (London: Longman, 1999)


See also

Michael Moorcock observed that many writers use archaic language for its sonority and to lend color to a lifeless story.[18] Brian Peters writes that in various forms of fairytale fantasy, even the villain's language might be inappropriate if vulgar.[19]

Ursula K. Le Guin, in her essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", presented the idea that language is the most crucial element of high fantasy, because it creates a sense of place. She analyzed the misuse of a formal, "olden-day" style, saying that it was a dangerous trap for fantasy writers because it was ridiculous when done wrong. She warns writers away from trying to base their style on that of masters such as Lord Dunsany and E. R. Eddison,[16] emphasizing that language that is too bland or simplistic creates the impression that the fantasy setting is simply a modern world in disguise, and presents examples of clear, effective fantasy writing in brief excerpts from Tolkien and Evangeline Walton.[17]

Symbolism often plays a significant role in fantasy literature, often through the use of archetypal figures inspired by earlier texts or folklore. Some argue that fantasy literature and its archetypes fulfill a function for individuals and society and the messages are continually updated for current societies.[15]

Fantasy has been distinguished from other forms of literature by its style and its freedom of expression wherein an author has the ability to use any story-telling element to strengthen the narrative; whether it be dragons, magic and castles or the lack thereof. Authors often engage in worldbuilding, constructing a framework or entire world against which the narrative plays out.


[14] and Brandon Sanderson in 2014.[13] in 2011,Patrick Rothfuss [12] in 2006,Terry Goodkind [11] and 2013,[10] in 2005,Neil Gaiman [9] and 2011,[8]

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