There is no truly typical "fantastic story", as the term generally discusses works of the horror or gothic genre. But two representative stories might be:
- Algernon Blackwood's story "The Willows", where two men traveling down the Danube River are beset by an eerie feeling of malice and several improbable setbacks in their trip; the question that pervades the story is whether they are falling prey to the wilderness and their own imaginations, or if there really is something horrific out to get them.
- Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Black Cat," where a murderer is haunted by a black cat; but is it revenge from beyond the grave, or just a cat?
A clear distinction between the Fantastic and magic realism is that the latter does not privilege either realistic or supernatural elements, nor ask the reader or characters to do so.
The Fantastic is sometimes erroneously called the Grotesque or Supernatural fiction, because both the Grotesque and the Supernatural contain fantastic elements, yet they are not the same, as the fantastic is based on an ambiguity of those elements.
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Famous quotes containing the word relative:
“It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)