Introduction: Traditional and Modern Fantasy

  • C. N. Manlove


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


Giant Killer Fairy Tale Wonderful Thing Arabian Night Gold Piece 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 6.
    Margaret Hunt, trans. and ed., Grimm’s Household Tales (George Bell, Bohn’s Standard Library, 1884) II, 181 (tale no. 133).Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    De La Mare, Told Again (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1927) pp. 97–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© C. N. Manlove 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. N. Manlove

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations