21W.758 | Fall 2016 | Undergraduate
Genre Fiction Workshop: Fantasy
Lecture Notes

Session 1


Syllabus - heavy reading

Your magic wand

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clarke

Your wand = smart phone

Your spells = apps (not games), maps, Uber, ordering food, buying stuff (Amazon, ebay, etc.), instant delivery, weather prediction

Why Fantasy? Why is it so popular?

17th century Age of Reason

  • Split in the way we looked at the world

Renaissance - holistic learning

  • All disciplines integrated

Age of Reason - split

  • Split disciplines
  • AND made those that did not work with “logic” & “reason” no longer legitimate

Unfortunately this split mirrors parts of the mind - conscious, subconscious, unconscious

So the subconscious/unconscious parts of the mind were given short shift and we are more alienated from ourselves and our needs

Mythology & Mythos

Every culture has a mythos

Every culture/language group as an original myth

Foundation myth that at bottom gets into the basic ideas of Archetypes - Gods, Kings, Rulership

For the English speaking world, that mythos is Arthur


Bettleheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. Vintage Books, 2010. ISBN: 9780307739636. [Preview with Google Books]

Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples