Download PDF by Edward James, Farah Mendlesohn: A Short History of Fantasy

By Edward James, Farah Mendlesohn

ISBN-10: 1907471669

ISBN-13: 9781907471667

Many of the earliest books ever written, together with The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey, care for monsters, marvels, remarkable voyages, and magic, and this style, often called delusion, remained a necessary a part of ecu literature during the upward push of the trendy realist novel. Tracing the heritage of delusion from the earliest years via to the origins of contemporary myth within the twentieth century, this account discusses contributions decade by means of decade—from Tolkien’s Lord of the earrings trilogy and Lewis’s Narnia books within the Nineteen Fifties to J. okay. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It also discusses and explains fantasy’s carrying on with and starting to be recognition.

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Unity and plurality, identity and differentiation, and static and dynamic processes all co-exist. In pre-logical thought, synthesis does not require prior analysis. A synthesis is indifferent to experience. It is indivisible and happily exists even when it is bursting with obvious contradictions. Memory is opposed to logical operations. One representation elicited by another is presented to the mind as a logical deduction, and signs are (mis)taken for causes. Memory privileges the mystical link between the visible and the invisible, and abstract logic is contradicted by the mystical.

Myth codifies thought, reinforces mores, defines precise rules of behavior, sanctions rituals, and rationalizes and justifies the social order. Malinowski believes that the practical function of myth is as much to solve critical problems associated with the well-being of the individual and of society as to maintain social and economic harmony. He shows that myth not only is a tale told by means of allegory and symbolism but is also seen by primitives as a kind of ‘Holy Scripture’, a reality that influences the destiny of man and the universe.

A similar problem can be found in Vico, although in reverse: here the developmental path is not from myth to language but from language to myth. (As the work of Potebnja shows, Vico’s version is much closer to the truth). Müller basically sees the sun as a divine symbol. By contrast, Kuhn and Schwartz see them as figurative representations of atmospheric phenomena, especially of storms. 23 Following a logic that is the inverse of Schelling’s— based not on metaphysics but on the senses—the gods are interpreted as symbols of nature.

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A Short History of Fantasy by Edward James, Farah Mendlesohn


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