Fantastique Quotes

Quotes tagged as "fantastique" Showing 1-22 of 22
André Breton
“What is admirable about the fantastic is that there is no longer anything fantastic: there is only the real.”
André Breton

E.T.A. Hoffmann
“There are... otherwise quite decent people who are so dull of nature that they believe that they must attribute the swift flight of fancy to some illness of the psyche, and thus it happens that this or that writer is said to create not other than while imbibing intoxicating drink or that his fantasies are the result of overexcited nerves and resulting fever. But who can fail to know that, while a state of psychical excitement caused by the one or other stimulant may indeed generate some lucky and brilliant ideas, it can never produce a well-founded, substantial work of art that requires the utmost presence of mind.”
E.T.A. Hoffmann, Die Serapions Brüder: Gesammelte Erzählungen Und Märchen In Vier Bänden

Peter Straub
“Human beings across every culture I know about require such stories, stories with cool winds and wood smoke. They speak to something deep within us, the capacity to conceptualize, objectify and find patterns, thereby to create the flow of events and perceptions that find perfect expression in fiction. We are built this way, we create stories by reflex, unstoppably. But this elegant system really works best when the elements of the emerging story, whether is is being written or being read, are taken as literal fact. Almost always, to respond to the particulars of the fantastic as if they were metaphorical or allegorical is to drain them of vitality.”
Peter Straub, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

“Surrealism, then, neither aims to subvert realism, as does the fantastic, nor does it try to transcend it. It looks for different means by which to explore reality itself.”
Michael Richardson, Dedalus Book of Surrealism 2: The Myth of the World

Peter Straub
“To feel our character, our personality, and our personal, hard-won history fade from being is to be exposed to whatever lies beneath these comforting, operational conveniences. What remains when the conscious and functioning self has been erased is mankind's fundamental condition – irrational, violent, guilt-wracked, despairing, and mad.”
Peter Straub, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

Peter Straub
“From a tale one expects a bit of wildness, of exaggeration and dramatic effect. The tale has no inherent concern with decorum, balance or harmony. ... A tale may not display a great deal of structural, psychological, or narrative sophistication, though it might possess all three, but it seldom takes its eye off its primary goal, the creation of a particular emotional state in its reader. Depending on the tale, that state could be wonder, amazement, shock, terror, anger, anxiety, melancholia, or the momentary frisson of horror.”
Peter Straub, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

“The fantastic cannot exist independently of that 'real' world which it seems to find frustratingly finite.”
Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion

Franz Rottensteiner
“Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Roger Caillois
“The fantastic is always a break in the acknowledged order, an irruption of the inadmissible within the changeless everyday legality”
Roger Caillois, Au coeur du fantastique

“The shifting sands of the world... show how much the surrealists were drawn towards an interrogation of what reality actually is. Unlike fabulists of whatever hue, there is a materiality in surrealist writing that resolutely keeps it, one might say, 'down to earth'.”
Michael Richardson, Dedalus Book of Surrealism 2: The Myth of the World

Franz Rottensteiner
“The fantastic postulates that there are forces in the outside world, and in our own natures, which we can neither know nor control, and these forces may even constitute the essence of our existence, beneath the comforting rational surface. The fantastic is, moreover, a product of human imagination, perhaps even an excess of imagination. It arises when laws thought to be absolute are transcended, in the borderland between life and death, the animate and the inanimate, the self and the world; it arises when the real turns into the unreal, and the solid presence into vision, dream or hallucination. The fantastic is the unexpected occurrence, the startling novelty which goes contrary to all our expectations of what is possible. The ego multiplies and splits, time and space are distorted.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Franz Rottensteiner
“Many of the best fantastic stories begin in a leisurely way, set in commonplace surroundings, with exact, meticulous descriptions of an ordinary background, much as in a 'realistic' tale. Then a gradual - or it may be sometimes a shockingly abrupt - change becomes apparent, and the reader begins to realize that what is being described is alien to the world he is accustomed to, that something strange has crept or leapt into it. This strangeness changes the world permanently and fundamentally.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Fitz-James O'Brien
“He hoped and feared,' continued Solon, in a low. mournful voice; 'but at times he was very miserable, because he did not think it possible that so much happiness was reserved for him as the love of this beautiful, innocent girl. At night, when he was in bed, and all the world was dreaming, he lay awake looking up at the old books against the walls, thinking how he could bring about the charming of her heart. One night, when he was thinking of this, he suddenly found himself in a beautiful country, where the light did not come from sun or moon or stars, but floated round and over and in everything like the atmosphere. On all sides he heard mysterious melodies sung by strangely musical voices. None of the features of the landscape was definite; yet when he looked on the vague harmonies of colour that melted one into another before his sight he was filled with a sense of inexplicable beauty. On every side of him fluttered radiant bodies, which darted to and fro through the illuminated space. They were not birds, yet they flew like birds; and as each one crossed the path of his vision he felt a strange delight flash through his brain, and straightaway an interior voice seemed to sing beneath the vaulted dome of his temples a verse containing some beautiful thought. Little fairies were all this time dancing and fluttering around him, perching on his head, on his shoulders, or balancing themselves on his fingertips. 'Where am I?' he asked. 'Ah, Solon?' he heard them whisper, in tones that sounded like the distant tinkling of silver bells, "this land is nameless; but those who tread its soil, and breathe its air, and gaze on its floating sparks of light, are poets forevermore.' Having said this, they vanished, and with them the beautiful indefinite land, and the flashing lights, and the illumined air; and the hunchback found himself again in bed, with the moonlight quivering on the floor, and the dusty books on their shelves, grim and mouldy as ever.'

("The Wondersmith")”
Fitz James O'Brien, Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror

Lars Gustafsson
“The fantastic in literature doesn't exist as a challenge to what is probable, but only there where it can be increased to a challenge of reason itself: the fantastic in literature consists, when all has been said, essentially in showing the world as opaque, as inaccessible to reason on principle. This happens when Piranesi in his imagined prisons depicts a world peopled by other beings than those for which it was created. ("On the Fantastic in Literature")”
Lars Gustafsson

Franz Rottensteiner
“As has already been noted, fantastic literature developed at precisely the moment when genuine belief in the supernatural was on the wane, and when the sources provided by folklore could safely be used as literary material. It is almost a necessity, for the writer as well as for the reader of fantastic literature, that he or she should not believe in the literal truth of the beings and objects described, although the preferred mode of literary expression is a naive realism. Authors of fantastic literature are, with a few exceptions, not out to convert, but to set down a narrative story endowed with the consistency and conviction of inner reality only during the time of the reading: a game, sometimes a highly serious game, with anxiety and fright, horror and terror.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

Franz Rottensteiner
“Fantastic literature has been especially prominent in times of unrest, when the older values have been overthrown to make way for the new; it has often accompanied or predicted change, and served to shake up rational Complacency, challenging reason and reminding man of his darker nature. Its popularity has had its ups and downs, and it has always been the preserve of a small literary minority. As a natural challenger of classical values, it is rarely part of a culture's literary mainstream, expressing the spirit of the age; but it is an important dissenting voice, a reminder of the vast mysteries of existence, sometimes truly metaphysical in scope, but more often merely riddling.”
Franz Rottensteiner, The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien

“Henry,' at last said one, again dipping the spoon into the flaming spirit, 'hast thou read Hoffman?'

'I should think so,' said Henry.

'What think you of him?'

'Why, that he writes admirably; and, moreover, what is more admirable - in such a manner that you see at once he almost believes that which he relates. As for me, I know very well that when I read him of a dark night, I am obliged to creep to bed without shutting my book, and without daring to look behind me.'

'Indeed; then you love the terrible and fantastic?'

'I do,' said Henry. ("The Dead Man's Story”
Hain Friswell

“The fantastic is in complicity with the realist model, in the claims that realism makes to represent the true face of reality. It points to the gaps and inadequacies of realism, but does not question the legitimacy of its claims to represent reality. The concept of “suspension of disbelief', that beloved criterion of positivist criticism supposedly serving to establish the legitimacy of the fantastic, confirms this hegemony.”
Michael Richardson, Dedalus Book of Surrealism 2: The Myth of the World

Jean Ray
“L'affaire du couvent des Pères Blancs ne fut pas mauvaise.

J'aurais pu faire main basse sur bien des choses précieuses mais, pour être un indévot, je ne suis pas un incroyant et l'idée seule de m'emparer d'objets du culte, même s'ils sont d'or et d'argent massifs, m'emplit d'horreur.

Les bons moins pleureront leurs palimpsestes, incunables et antiphonaires disparus, mais ils loueront le Seigneur d'avoir détourné une main impie de leurs ciboires et de leurs ostensoirs.

[...]

La vente du buste du dieu Terme m'a rapporté une fortune...oui, une fortune.

Le quart m'a suffit pour racheter les parchemins, incunables et antiphonaires dérobés aux bons Pères Blancs.

Demain, je leur enverrai leur bien en leur demandant des prières...et non pour moi seul.

Mais j'ai gardé le mémoire.

Ils me doivent bien cela.”
Jean Ray, Malpertuis

Virginia Besson Robilliard
“L’Irlande, notre contrée de coeur à nous êtres de toutes formes et de toutes essences qui appartiennent à ce que vous, humains, appelez le Petit Peuple, est un pays pour lequel nous avons encore de l’importance, et je me demande si, alors même que nous sommes ici pleinement intégrés à la culture et aux traditions, nombreux seraient ceux qui réussiraient à rester sains d’esprit s’ils venaient à savoir ce qui se trame réellement dans les galeries, grottes et souterrains de l’ile d’émeraude en particulier et du monde entier en général.”
Virginia Besson Robilliard, L'Irlandais - épisode 1: La monnaie de sa pièce

Andrzej Sapkowski
“Où nos héros arrivent à Münsterberg lors d’un tournoi de chevalerie très européen. Pour Reynevan, ce contact avec l’Europe s’avère triste. Bah ! Douloureux même.”
Andrzej Sapkowski, La Tour des Fous: La Trilogie hussite, T1

Virginia Besson Robilliard
“Missive 6245
« Ma Reine,
Nous sommes toujours à Dingle à ce jour, mais au vu des derniers évènements que je vais vous rapporter ici, il est possible que nous devions bouger d’ici quelque temps. Je vous laisse prendre connaissance de mon rapport pour le mois qui vient de s’écouler et attends vos instructions.
Votre dévoué serviteur. »
Je remis alors de l’ordre dans les notes que j’avais prises au cours du mois passé en les rassemblant devant moi et commençai à rédiger ce énième compte rendu, qui différait légèrement des précédents, par les quelques points singuliers qui le parcouraient. J’en profitais pour ajouter quelques mots à mon propre journal de mémoires. Je compte laisser ce dernier à un humain digne de confiance capable de transmettre et d’archiver ce document aussi unique que considérable dans un endroit sûr loin des mains redoutées des membres de l’Unseelie Court, notre ennemie jurée, lorsque ma mission viendra à son terme.”
Virginia Besson Robilliard, L'Irlandais - épisode 1: La monnaie de sa pièce