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Old 09-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #165
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Thanks, Formendacil, for tempting me to reread this thread. I see that I have failed to fulfill my promise. I confess that I lost the passion for the research, and it was never completed. I don't think it's going to happen. I confess also that my prosecutorial certitude of 2005 has diminished markedly in the last 9 years. So I must retire my prosecution permanently, as I've no stomach for it these days.

That said, it has been a happy stroll down memory lane.

Originally Posted by Bethberry
Is self-knowledge, self-reflection, any kind of distancing between narrator/character/reader not feasible in fantasy? Does fantasy have to mean a total sublimation or suspension of the reader's disbelief? Or is this just a function of Tolkien's nod to the old narrative forms?

And, if enchantment requires the absence of irony or distance, does that make parody of fantasy far more easy or potent?
I have deleted the questions from the above quote that I consider myself unequipped to answer. I think that modern fantasy has seen distancing and/or the lack thereof across the spectrum.

I think a suspension of disbelief is a minimum requirement for fantasy. Secondary belief is the goal. The difference between the two is essential. For those who may be unfamiliar with the distinction, suspension of disbelief is the act of setting aside one's own lack of belief in what one is reading. Secondary belief is, first, never having had disbelief, and second, imaginatively entering into a secondary world, experiencing it as primary while reading.

Frankly, secondary belief is necessary for any fiction, not just fantasy.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 09-21-2014 at 04:56 PM.
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