The Enduring Fantastic: Essays on Imagination and Western Culture
Edited by Anna Höglund and Cecilia Trenter
Fantastic fiction is traditionally understood as Western genre literature such as fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Expanding on this understanding, these essays explore how the fantastic has been used in Western societies since the Middle Ages as a tool for organizing and materializing abstractions in order to make sense of the present social order. Disciplines represented here include literature studies, gender studies, biology, ethnology, archeology, history, religion, game studies, cultural sociology, and film studies. Individual essays cover topics such as the fantastic creatures of medieval chronicle, mummy medicine in eighteenth-century Sweden, how fears of disease filtered through the universal and adaptable vampire, the gender aspects of goddess worship in the secular West, ecocentrism in fantasy fiction, how videogames are dealing with the remediation of heritage, and more.