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Fantastic: A Structual Approach [Paperback]

Todorov
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"The Fantastic" is a name given to a kind of literature, to a literary genre. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.0 out of 5 stars Structuralist view of 'the fantastic' May 30 2002
Format:Paperback
Those interested in the structuralist criticism of the 1960s-70s will find the most joy here, with Todorov applying the rigorous structuralist stance to one of literature's most fascinating genres. His demolition of Northrop Frye's approach to 'genre' in Chapter 1 is still cogent after thirty years (and an amusing read in its own right), but it's Todorov's chapters on the 'themes of the fantastic', and his conclusion on its role in literature generally, which are most compelling. This is not, however, an easy read. As Robert Scholes notes in his foreword, "neither structuralism itself nor poetics in general is noted for its ability to charm readers." You don't say. Fortunately, Todorov uses many examples from well known fantastic texts - such as 'The Arabian Nights' and the works of Edgar Alan Poe - and also from lesser known French works which will have you rushing out to the antiquarian bookstore to hunt them down. You can accept or reject the structuralist position - but if nothing else, this book will open up a whole new world of 'fantastic' novels for you to enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What Todorov Means! June 30 2000
Format:Paperback
This book is a great achievement in criticism, but one should be warned that Todorov is not talking about elves and dragons when he uses the term "Fantastic." In this book Todorov advances his definition of the fantastic as a "hesitation" or inability to decide whether events in a narrative are natural or supernatural. Thus, the book deals more with straight supernatural fiction, than with what we usually think of as "fantasy" fiction. All in all, Todorov is insightful and his book is a great companion to anyone who enjoys French, English, or American supernatural fiction.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Structuralist view of 'the fantastic' May 30 2002
By Steven Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Those interested in the structuralist criticism of the 1960s-70s will find the most joy here, with Todorov applying the rigorous structuralist stance to one of literature's most fascinating genres. His demolition of Northrop Frye's approach to 'genre' in Chapter 1 is still cogent after thirty years (and an amusing read in its own right), but it's Todorov's chapters on the 'themes of the fantastic', and his conclusion on its role in literature generally, which are most compelling. This is not, however, an easy read. As Robert Scholes notes in his foreword, "neither structuralism itself nor poetics in general is noted for its ability to charm readers." You don't say. Fortunately, Todorov uses many examples from well known fantastic texts - such as 'The Arabian Nights' and the works of Edgar Alan Poe - and also from lesser known French works which will have you rushing out to the antiquarian bookstore to hunt them down. You can accept or reject the structuralist position - but if nothing else, this book will open up a whole new world of 'fantastic' novels for you to enjoy.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Todorov Means! June 30 2000
By M. Wegley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a great achievement in criticism, but one should be warned that Todorov is not talking about elves and dragons when he uses the term "Fantastic." In this book Todorov advances his definition of the fantastic as a "hesitation" or inability to decide whether events in a narrative are natural or supernatural. Thus, the book deals more with straight supernatural fiction, than with what we usually think of as "fantasy" fiction. All in all, Todorov is insightful and his book is a great companion to anyone who enjoys French, English, or American supernatural fiction.
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