Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Cauldron of Story

In his essay "High Fantasy and Heroic Romance" (1971 The Horn Book Magazine) Lloyd Alexander speaks of incorporating huge amounts of traditional material into his Chronicles of Prydain sequence (1964-1968); he calls this material – which includes names, places, Landscapes, echoes of historical Myths and Legends, and plot structures basic to High Fantasy – a Cauldron of Story, taking the term from the Second Branch of the Mabinogion. The phrase was also utilized in the description of Fantasy by J R R Tolkien, in "On Fairy-Tales", a talk delivered in 1939 and published in Essays Presented to Charles Williams (anth 1947) ed C S Lewis; Tolkien spoke of "the Pot of Soup, the Cauldron of Story", as always boiling. [JC]

see also: Ocean of Story; Story; Twice-Told.

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.