The fantastic genre can be subtly seen in works where the reader has a sense of confusion about the work and whether or not the described phenomenon was real. Todorov states that this genre never solely encompasses a novel as the ending always drives the hesitation towards one of two decisions which he titles as the uncanny or the marvelous. The uncanny, wherein the phenomenon turns out to have a rational explanation such as in the Gothic works of Ann Radcliffe; or the marvelous, where there truly is a supernatural explanation for the phenomenon:
The fantastic requires the fulfillment of three conditions. First, the text must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural or supernatural explanation of the events described. Second, this hesitation may also be experienced by a character; thus the reader's role is so to speak entrusted to a character, and at the same time the hesitation is represented, it becomes one of the themes of the work -- in the case of naive reading, the actual reader identifies himself with the character. Third, the reader must adopt a certain attitude with regard to the text: he will reject allegorical as well as "poetic" interpretations.
The Fantastic can also represent dreams and wakefulness where the character or reader hesitates as to what is reality or what is a dream. Again the Fantastic is found in this hesitation - once it is decided the Fantastic ends.
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