Searching for the fantastic: an Australian case

Anne Holden Rønning


Fantasy is the ability of the imagination to visualize and textualize non-existent worlds as real. It is an escape to an imaginary present or past, but often expresses direct criticism of the real world or moral issues. The relation between fantasy literature and myth, the fairytale, and legends is highly complex. Is fantasy and the fantastic just the strange and unknown, and what is its purpose? Is it only imaginary worlds that can be defined as such and what is the role of the reader/listener in interpreting these texts as fantasy? This article will discuss what we mean by fantasy literature in relation to a recent collection of novellas, Legends of Australian Fantasy, their use of myth and its literary expression.


fantasy; Australia; myth; the fantastic

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