The Initiation in Fantasy Fiction

Topics: Literature, Folklore, Fairy tale Pages: 1 (299 words) Published: June 8, 2013
Extensive science literature on the topic of the rites of passage and, particularly, on initiation exists. We can distinguish different types of such literature: the anthropologic works devoted to local and traditional culture (of course, similar works concerning modern cultures also exist but they tend to use the same methods), studies in folklore and folk literature (myths, fairy and folk tales etc.), which often go with the former, and psychological literature. And the narrowest represented type is researches in modern and classical fiction (we mean works concerning the question "how are the rites of passages reflected and described in fiction?"). But if we want to look at the researches which work with certain literary genre, namely, fantasy genre, we find out that such works are very few. Although exactly fantasy fiction most closely connects with myth, fairy and folk tale, it means that just here we can find schemes and elements of the rites of passage, which an author used consciously as well as unconsciously. In our work we try to carry out semantic and structural analysis of some of the most significant books in the fantasy genre in order to understand how often and in which way authors of these books use schemes and elements of the rites of passage, specifically, the initiation. Also we try to find out what concrete forms of initiation occur in fiction in that genre. We deal with some philological phenomena such as literary archetype and mythological cliché. These concepts help us to describe the elements and symbols of the initiation process reflected in the fantasy fiction. Our research is interdisciplinary, because we lean heavily on all the four above-mentioned types of science literature, and use each of their different research methodologies. We combine methods of anthropology, psychology, folkloristics and philology.
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