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In The Fantastic, Tzvetan Todorov seeks to examine both generic theory and a particular genre, moving back and forth between a poetics of the fantastic itself and a metapoetics or theory of theorizing, even as he suggest that one must, as a critic, move back and forth between theory and history, between idea and fact. His work on the fantastic is indeed about a historical phenomenon that we recognize, about specific works that we may read, but it is also about the use and abuse of generic theory.
As an essay in fictional poetics, The Fantastic is consciously structuralist in its approach to the generic subject. Todorov seeks linguistic bases for the structural features he notes in a variety of fantastic texts, including Potocki's The Sargasso Manuscript, Nerval's Aurélia, Balzac's The Magic Skin, the Arabian Nights, Cazotte's Le Diable Amoureux, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and tales by E. T. A. Hoffman, Charles Perrault, Guy de Maupassant, Nicolai Gogol, and Edgar A. Poe.
Author: Tzvetan Todorov
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 8.22h x 5.60w x 0.52d
Audience: Young Adult
About the Author
Tzvetan Todorov is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. A native of Bulgaria living in France for over four decades, he is among the most influential literary and cultural theorists writing today. Among his many books available in English translation are Theories of the Symbol and Symbolism and Interpretation, both available from Cornell.
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