Fantasy

Authored by: Ming-Hsun Lin

The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-Tale Cultures

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946156
eBook ISBN: 9781315670997
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315670997-57

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Abstract

This chapter is a study of questions around the development of fantasy in literature and film, its relationship with fairy tale, and its influence on fairy-tale studies. I show that fantasy is a literary impulse instead of a homogeneous genre. Fantasy is often dismissed as a marginal phenomenon and a marketable commodity that is inferior to realistic mimesis. The rise of fantasy from the late nineteenth century from page to screen, however, demonstrates its dominance over today’s media. By adapting classic fairy stories, fantasy film has created a fairy-tale frenzy, while fairy tale has made fantasy a cinematic craze in the twenty-first century. While fairy-tale adaptations in modern fantasy films have generated controversial debates regarding the authenticity of the fairy-tale spirit, they have also successfully dismantled the stereotype of classic fairy tale, as reinforced by the Grimms and Disney, and give further hope for new approaches toward fantasy and fairy-tale studies in the future.

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