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Title: Australian Fantasy and Folklore
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1981
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The resurgence of the narration of fairy-tales, a feature of the last quarter century, has been related to the contemporary development of fantasy, a genre usually held, in its most ambitious form, to be the best quality writing for children. ... The most luminous modern fantasies which many have designated by the equivalent term, 'high quality' fairy-tales, have been very much akin to the retelling with integrity of myths and legends from many cultures by such a writer as Roger Lancelyn Green, himself an avowed disciple of Andrew Lang. Whether all the retellers, fantasy writers and creators of 'new' fairy-tales would agree with Bruno Bettelheim's argument in 'The Uses of Enchantment' (1975) that "children need the safety valve if the fairy-tale for uncomplicated emotional development", there is no doubt that that literary kind is without rival for its assistance to the expansion of the imagination, of wonder and of the sense of mystery and the poignancy - the lacrimae rerum - of the human condition. For fantasy is the true experimental cauldron used by some of the finest writers and most fertile minds of all times. In the earliest periods, however, the discoverers in fantasy were dealing with the realities of their day, for the monsters and magic that made up their worlds were recognized as part of a real cosmos, a conception which has received re-endorsement by the Australian children's writer, Patricia Wrightson, in her essay, 'The Human Experience of Fantasy': "Fantasy is Man Thinking" (P. Wrightson). Her ongoing argumentation there - so reminiscent and even echoic of Coleridge, Chesterton and Tolkien - finally takes her to her most valid definition: "For me, fantasy is man thinking; thinking about life and reality, but beyond the known facts" (p. 7).
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 0858343592
Field of Research (FOR): 190199 Art Theory and Criticism not elsewhere classified
200101 Communication Studies
190401 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 61
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Downloads: 24
Appears in Collections:Book

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