science fiction and fantasy the role of textuality in the genres’ struggles and triumphs

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  • Science Fiction and FantasyThe Role of Textuality in the Genres Struggles and Triumphs

  • Yeah,Whatever!

  • Textual DifficultiesConnected with Fantasy and Science FictionWhy are we always on the Defensive?

  • Premise # 1In spite of contemporary theory, for this lecture we will assume that there are absolute truths.

  • Premise # 2It is possible to express absolute truth in texts although humanity is probably too flawed to do so.

  • Premise # 3For the purposes of this lecture it will be assumed that there are such things as privileged texts.

  • RamificationPeople are correct to say that there are some texts which should not be bothered with in serious academic studies.This has little to do with ones likes and dislikes.The choices should be made on standards of value which are without prejudice

  • Science Fiction is. . .. . .a type of literature that stresses the future and makes new inventions seem plausible--in some ways a literature of translation.

    Dick Allen from Science Fiction: The Future


  • Fantasy is. . .. . .a type of literature which assumes a universe which has order and a set of discoverable natural laws, even though they are different from our own. Such laws are not treated directly but are implicitly.

    David Allen from Science Fiction: An Introduction

  • Science Fiction is. . ..a branch of fantasy identifiable by the fact that it causes the. willing suspension of disbelief on the part of its readers by utilizing an atmosphere of scientific credibility for its imaginative speculations in physical science, space, time, social science and philosophy.Sam Moskowitz, critic and writer from Science Fiction: The Future

  • Textual DifficultiesConnected with Fantasy and Science FictionThe repertoire of many readers.Bad Science Fiction The FansThe gaps within the primary texts.

  • When Examining any work of Science Fiction and Fantasy I find my students come filled with unacknowledged texts:Poorly done science fiction filmsSocially disabled fans

  • Badly Done SF

  • Get a life People! Get a Life!It was a TV show. You got that?A TV Show! You! The one with ears! Have you even kissed a girl yet?Move out of your Parents basements and GET A LIFE!Socially Inept FansWilliam Shatner expressing his true feelings or. . .The Evil Capt.. Kirk from the ST Episode Turnabout Intruder

  • Gaps within the TextFantasy &Science Fiction

  • Science // FictionScience--Now what I want is FactsGradgrind from Dickens Hard TimesFiction--The good ended happily and the bad ended unhappily--thats why its called `fiction.What are these two doing together?

  • The gaps in textAnd you must be-- She raised her eyes from his professional symbols,[phoenix & salamander--the fireman. Her voice trailed off.How oddly you say that.Id--Id have known it with my eyes shut, she said, slowly.What--the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains.

  • A Willing Suspension of DisbeliefColeridge

  • There is a particular kind of story which has a value in itself--a value independent of its embodiment in any literary work.

    C.S. LewisAn Experiment in CriticismThe Archetype: