Discovering Other Worlds; A Reader Oriented Analysis of Imaginary Worlds in Fantasy Literature
Doornik, C.W. van
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Fantasy literature presents us with many different worlds, some appearing to be like the real world, some completely different. By reading fantasy literature a person can enter these other worlds, take a look around, enjoy them, and maybe learn something that can be used for the better. Which leads to the question this essay will try to answer: how does fantasy literature involve the reader in an imaginary world? This essay draws upon a carefully assembled corpus of primary and secondary texts. The theory in this essay is mainly derived from a branch of literary studies called narratology. Narrative Fiction by Schlomith Rimmon-Kenan’s is used as a key text for accessing this theory. This essay pays special attention to the immersion and interaction theories that are set forth in Mary-Laure Ryan’s Narrative as Virtual Reality. This essay also makes extensive use of the theory about the implied reader, which Wolfgang Iser put forth in his well-known work, The Act of Reading. The rest of the theoretical corpus used here, is made up from a variety of theoretical texts about fantasy literature in general. Of these texts, this essay derives most from Brian M. Stableford’s Historical Dictionary of Fantasy Literature.