The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre

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Cornell University Press, 1975 - Literary Criticism - 180 pages
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In The Fantastic, Tzvetan Todorov seeks to examine both generic theory and a particular genre, moving back and forth between a poetics of the fantastic itself and a metapoetics or theory of theorizing, even as he suggest that one must, as a critic, move back and forth between theory and history, between idea and fact. His work on the fantastic is indeed about a historical phenomenon that we recognize, about specific works that we may read, but it is also about the use and abuse of generic theory.

As an essay in fictional poetics, The Fantastic is consciously structuralist in its approach to the generic subject. Todorov seeks linguistic bases for the structural features he notes in a variety of fantastic texts, including Potocki's The Sargasso Manuscript, Nerval's Aurélia, Balzac's The Magic Skin, the Arabian Nights, Cazotte's Le Diable Amoureux, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and tales by E. T. A. Hoffman, Charles Perrault, Guy de Maupassant, Nicolai Gogol, and Edgar A. Poe.

 

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Review: The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre

User Review  - Katya - Goodreads

I freely admit I don't understand all that's going on here.... even when (inevitably) read in small doses, there's a lot of salient stuff to unpack. yum Read full review

Contents

literary genres
3
definition of the fantastic
24
the uncanny and the marvelous
41
poetry and allegory
58
discourse of the fantastic
75
themes of the fantastic introduction
91
themes of the self
107
themes of the other
124
conclusion
140
literature and the fantastic
157
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About the author (1975)

Tzvetan Todorov is a director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. A linguist, literary theorist, and world-renowned essayist, he is the author of numerous books, several of which have been translated into English, including: Voices from the Gulag: Life and Death in Communist Bulgaria (Penn State, 1999).

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