Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

A term used to make a theoretical distinction in the literatures of the Fantastic between Fantasy – which (it is argued) presents a world that requires an act of belief from the reader – and certain genres, like the Fairytale, where "Enchantment exists of itself, and the reader's participation in it is scarcely intellectual", as W R Irwin puts it in The Game of the Impossible: a Rhetoric of Fantasy (1976). [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.