Tag Archives: fantasy

Fantasy and the Problem of Violence

Thursday Today I will be delivering the following talk as part of Sewanee’s Lifelong Learning series, delivered in a venue that used to be my high school and where I spoke 50 years ago. It may sound strange to some of you that a literary scholar such as myself would talk about fantasy. Aren’t we […]

Posted in Beowulf Poet, Tolkien (J. R. R.), Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantasy Frees Us from Narrow Thinking

Friday I share today a new insight that I gained from my recent Lifelong Learning class about “Wizards and Enchantresses.” To set it up, I first share my theory of fantasy. As I see it, fantasy is always oppositional in its invocation of magic and the supernatural. If it flourished in the wake of the […]

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Fantasy Keeps Dreams Alive

Thursday In Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts (see here and here), I laid out the outlines of my first “Wizards and Enchantresses” class, which I’m currently teaching as part of Sewanee’s Lifelong Learning Program. The first class I devoted to Merlin, the second will focus on Morgan Le Fay, the third will take up Shakespeare’s Prospero, […]

Posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J. R. R.), Twain (Mark), White (T. H.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Uses of Fantasy

Monday This coming week I will be teaching a four-session lifelong learning course at Sewanee entitled “Literary Wizards and Enchantresses, from Merlin and Morgan Le Fay to Gandalf and Galadriel.” I’m using today’s blog post to sort out my ideas for the first class, which will focus on Merlin and his successors. Before turning to […]

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Pinocchio, a Horror Story

Disney’s “Pinocchio” sugarcoats the original, which is the stuff of nightmares. Happy Halloween.

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The Dark Jinn Invade America

Salman Rushdie’s “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights” helps explain how Trump came to power. Blame it on a longing for dark fantasy.

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Reading My Way to Adulthood

As an adolescent, I used fantasy in an attempt to hold on to my childhood innocence and hated “Catcher in the Rye.” Little did I realize that Salinger’s novel describes my struggle.

Posted in Salinger (J. D.), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantasy, a Portal to the Numinous

People are often drawn to fantasy in our post-Enlightenment world because they hunger for the numinous.

Posted in Homer, Pullman (Philip), Sharp (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantasy To Cope with Adult Pressures

James Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy” was forged out of the intense resentment of a boy who was forced to grow up too early.

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