Magic in fantasy: narrative strategies from 1970 to 2010

Jedrzejczyk-Drenda, Agnieszka A. (2017) Magic in fantasy: narrative strategies from 1970 to 2010. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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This thesis seeks to examine narrative strategies of magic in fantasy fiction published from 1970 to 2010. Very little work has been done previously on magic in fantasy, and none focuses on magic as a part of the world-building process or examines such a broad range of works. Taking magic as the main subject matter, I investigate fantasy novels to see what patterns of magic emerge. I examine magic according to the thematic conceptualisations that are at the foundation of magic world-building. I argue that these conceptualisations, which I call narrative strategies of magic, influence not only the process of world-building itself, but other narrative elements, such as plot and characterisation. I then investigate magic at its most basic narrative level, from the perspective of the magic event that takes place within the narrative. The magic act and the character of the magic-user are the two lenses through which the in-depth analysis is performed, in which I argue that the introduction of magic into the text has vital bearing on the development of the narrative. The thesis begins with a general investigation of magical parameters in fantasy and is followed by five thematic chapters, each devoted to a strategy of magic. First, I use the theory of intermediality to explore the music strategy and argue how music constructs magic. Second, I deploy the Dance and Movement Therapy theory to discuss magic depicted through movement. Third, I investigate one of the most recent developments in the construction of magic in fantasy, the narrative strategy of artisan skills. Fourth, the concept of knowledge and scholarly framework is applied to discuss more scientifically-oriented forms of magic. Fifth, I examine the concept of primordial language to uncover the complexity of linguistic magic.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: fantasy, narrative strategies, fictional magic, the magic-user, the magic act
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2021 14:43
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:59

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