Fantastic

The fantastic (French: le fantastique) is a subgenre of literary works characterized by the ambiguous presentation of seemingly supernatural forces.

Bulgarian-French structuralist literary critic Tzvetan Todorov originated the concept, characterizing the fantastic as the hesitation of characters and readers when presented with questions about reality.

Definition

The fantastic is present in works where the reader experiences hesitation about whether a work presents what Todorov calls "the uncanny," wherein superficially supernatural phenomena turn out to have a rational explanation (such as in the Gothic works of Ann Radcliffe) or "the marvelous," where the supernatural is confirmed by the story. According to Todorov, the hesitation involves two outcomes:

The fantastic requires the fulfillment of three conditions. First, the text must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural or supernatural explanation of the events described. Second, this hesitation may also be experienced by a character; thus the reader's role is so to speak entrusted to a character, and at the same time the hesitation is represented, it becomes one of the themes of the work -- in the case of naive reading, the actual reader identifies himself with the character. Third, the reader must adopt a certain attitude with regard to the text: he will reject allegorical as well as "poetic" interpretations.[1]

The Fantastic can also represent dreams and wakefulness where the character or reader hesitates as to what is reality or what is a dream. Again the Fantastic is found in this hesitation - once it is decided the Fantastic ends.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: عجائبي
español: Fantástico
français: Fantastique
occitan: Fantastic
română: Fantastic
svenska: Fantastique
українська: Химерна проза