HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn
Loading...

Rhetorics of Fantasy (2008)

by Farah Mendlesohn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
124None96,438 (4.05)9
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Most theories, of course, really don't mean much at all until you try to use them in practice, which is something I haven't yet had much of a chance to do with Rhetorics of Fantasy, but hope to do someday. I like her formulation of the four types of fantasy (portal-quest, immersive, intrusion, liminal), and what they indicate about our ("the reader's") attitude toward the fantastic, especially as regards observation (but then of course I would, as I am obsessed with observation). Mendelsohn has a keen attention to detail and complications (her point that genres work differently in different media, and thus we can't assume what she says is true for novels is also true for Buffy the Vampire Slayer is well taken), and I look forward to digging into her work in more depth at some point.
1 vote Stevil2001 | Jul 31, 2013 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1223512.html

In Rhetorics of Fantasy, Farah Mendlesohn identifies four different ways in which fantasy writers engage with their book (and their readers). First is the portal / quest fantasy, where the hero leaves his or her normality to enter a fantasy world on a heroic journey. Second, the immersive fantasy, which is entirely set within an imagined world. Third, the intrusive fantasy, where the abnormal intrudes into the characters' reality. And fourth, the liminal fantasy, where we are not certain which is which.

These are not absolutes; many books combine writing in more than one of these rhetorical modes (eg The Lord of the Rings begins as a quest and becomes immersive, and I would say even intrusive in the closing section in the Shire; Perdido Street Station is an immersive fantasy into which there is also an intrusion from elsewhere). But Mendlesohn is convincing on the basic point that these are four very different ways of writing the fantastic, which call on writers (and readers) to approach the texts in specific ways. Four long chapters give specific examples for each of the four rhetorical modes; a fifth looks at exceptions to them.

I'm not acquainted with literary theory, and my academic training is in the rather different fields of hard science and history (where the words 'polysemic' and 'phatic' are not often used), so when I read books like this I am not really looking to participate in the intellectual debate that the author may want to have. I am looking for i) a better understanding of books I have already read and ii) for suggestions of books I might read in the future which may appeal to me, and Rhetorics of Fantasy supplied me with plenty of material on both counts (and I'm brewing a livejournal poll based on my reading of it). ( )
2 vote nwhyte | May 22, 2009 |
This is an academic book and may not be an easy read for non-academics, however I feel it was well worth the effort. Farah Mendlesohn's analysis of different modes of fantasy is insightful and illuminating. ( )
  Rivendell | Apr 15, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0819568686, Paperback)

Transcending arguments over the definition of fantasy literature, Rhetorics of Fantasy introduces a provocative new system of classification for the genre. Utilizing nearly two hundred examples of modern fantasy, author Farah Mendlesohn uses this system to explore how fiction writers construct their fantastic worlds. Mendlesohn posits four categories of fantasy--portal-quest, immersive, intrusion, and liminal--that arise out of the relationship of the protagonist to the fantasy world. Using these sets, Mendlesohn argues that the author's stylistic decisions are then shaped by the inescapably political demands of the category in which they choose to write. Each chapter covers at least twenty books in detail, ranging from nineteenth-century fantasy and horror to extensive coverage of some of the best books in the contemporary field. Offering a wide-ranging discussion and penetrating comparative analysis, Rhetorics of Fantasy will excite fans and provide a wealth of material for scholarly and classroom discussion.

Includes discussion of works by over 100 authors, including Lloyd Alexander, Peter Beagle, Marion Zimmer Bradley, John Crowley, Stephen R. Donaldson, Stephen King, C. S. Lewis, Gregory Maguire, Robin McKinley, China Mieville, Suniti Namjoshi, Philip Pullman, J. K. Rowling, Sheri S. Tepper, J. R. R. Tolkien, Tad Williams

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:36 -0400)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
30 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.05)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 3
3.5
4 4
4.5 1
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,493,821 books! | Top bar: Always visible