The Poetic Fantastic: Studies in an Evolving Genre

Front Cover
Patrick D. Murphy, Vernon Ross Hyles
Greenwood Press, 1989 - 201 pages

A groundbreaking contribution to the critical literature, this volume represents the most extensive study of the fantastic in poetry published to date. Designed to serve both as an introduction to and a historical overview of fantastic poetry in the Anglo-American tradition, the authors closely analyze specific periods and poems in order to illuminate more clearly the relationships among fantasty, the fantastic, science fiction, and poetry. The scope of the study is unusually broad and encompasses material from Spenser through the work of a wide range of contemporary American and British poets.

Although the contributors focus primarily on English-language authors, their essays provide theoretical and practical criticism relevant to the study of the fantastic in poetry in any language. Among the innovative approaches developed are a feminist-fantastic revisionary reading of Keat's Lamia and a conceptualization of the role of fantasy in the writing of holocaust poetry. In addition, the contributors analyze such works as C.S. Lewis's Dymer, Ed Dorn's Slinger, Victorian women's fantasies, the poetry of Margaret Atwood, Anne Sexton, Ursula K. Le Guin, and many others. Taken together, these essays should not only spark critical debate on the intersection of fantasy and poetry but also become the essential starting point for any new criticism of fantastic poems.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Poetry of the Fantastic Vernon Hyles
Poetry and the PreFantastic Peter Malekin
Lamia as Muse Martha Nochimson

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1989)

PATRICK D. MURPHY is Professor of English and member of the graduate faculty in English and graduate faculty member at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Co-editor of Science Fiction from China: Eight Stories, Essentials of the Theory Fiction, and special issues of Women's Studies and Studies in the Humanities, he is currently editing Critical Essasys on Gary Snyder and writing The Reader's Guide to Joanna Russ and Understanding Gary Snyder.

VERNON HYLES is Assistant Professor of English at Auburn University. His previous works include George Alex Effinger, Freaks, The Grotesque as a Metaphor, and many articles and essays in journals.

Bibliographic information