Embodiment of evil and reflections of social change in second-world fantasy

Dalton, Adam (2019) Embodiment of evil and reflections of social change in second-world fantasy. In: A Shadow Within: Evil in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Academia Lunare . Luna Press Publishing, Edinburgh, pp. 73-101. ISBN 978-1-911143-91-8 (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

This book chapter considers the character of the Dark Lord and other embodiments of evil within fantasy literature in order to show how our idea of evil has changed over time, to identify how the genre has shifted (via new subgenres) since its early days, to consider emerging trends and, perhaps, to help us better understand ourselves. Initially, the article demonstrates how our understanding of the Satanic (or what is ‘wrong’ with the world and ourselves) develops and evolves with each different socio-historical moment by comparing Tolkien’s ‘high fantasy’ to subsequent ‘epic fantasy’. That comparison is enabled by a summary of the difference in characterisation, literary style, plot organisation, and themes of the two subgenres, and a description of
the difference in underlying personal and social values of the two subgenres. Having analysed and discussed the differing relationship to the Satanic in ‘high fantasy’ and ‘epic fantasy’, the article considers developments in the above relationship as represented in the metaphysical fantasy’ and ‘dark fantasy’ subgenres of the early 2000s and the subsequent ‘grimdark fantasy’ and ‘dystopian YA’ subgenres of the 2010s.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 978-1-911143-91-8
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing
Writing & Journalism > Literature > English Literature
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Adam Dalton
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2019 16:12
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2019 16:12
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3258

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