Introduction: Traditional and Modern Fantasy
Modern fantasy owes its existence in large part to the traditional fairy tale. The German Romantics at the turn of the eighteenth century — Goethe, Novalis, W. H. Wackenroder, Ludwig Tieck, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Clemens Brentano, F. de la Motte Fouqué — all looked to the traditional tale in their creation of their own ‘Märchen’ or fairy tales; and they themselves had a considerable influence on the interest in fairy tales throughout the nineteenth century. For many of them the fairy tale, based as it was on chance, frequent absence of causal connection and strange images and events, was the product of the unconscious imagination; and since that faculty was seen as the source of true vision into the nature of life, the fairy tale became a picture of the actual condition of existence. Thus Novalis could declare, ‘Alles ist ein Mahrchen’; ‘Im Mahrchen ist achte Naturanarchie’; ‘Ein Mahrchen ist wie ein Traumbild ohne Zusammenhang. Ein Ensemble wunderbarer Dinge and Begebenheiten … die Natur selbst’ (‘Everything is a fairy tale’; ‘The genuine anarchy of nature is in the fairy tale’; ‘A fairy tale is like a dream-picture without coherence, a collection of wonderful things and occurrences … nature itself’).1
KeywordsEurope Coherence Boiling Ghost Heroine
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