It's real for us: how do authors convince intelligent readers that magic, elves and wizards really do exist?

Cook, Lucy Hannah (2015) It's real for us: how do authors convince intelligent readers that magic, elves and wizards really do exist? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Ideas of reality are explored in Baudrillard's essay 'Simulacra and Simulations' in which it is stated that ''simulation threatens the difference between "true" and "false", between "real" and "imaginary" (2012, pp. 366-367)". Fantasy, by its very nature, is a genre that "deals with things that are not and cannot be" (Brown, 1955, p. 9); it is entirely concerned with the "imaginary" (Baudrillard, 2012, p. 367). How then do readers become so involved in fantasy series' that some even deny its non-reality? Fans of 'The Lord of the Rings' learn Elvish (Noell, 1974) and 'Harry Potter' fans declare "it's real for us" (Fairweather, 2011). The blurring of lines between what is "real" and "imaginary" (Baudrillard, 2012, p. 367) is vital to making fantasy stories so believable that adults who grew up with the 'Harry Potter' books admit they are "still waiting for my Hogwarts letter" (Hill, 2009). The successes of 'Harry Potter', 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Belgariad' were dependant on their readers being able to put aside what is "real" (Baudrillard, 2012, p. 367) and immerse themselves in the "imaginary" (p. 367) worlds that the authors create for them. David Eddings, author of 'The Belgariad' series, explains that his "aim was to create an epic fantasy with a heavy overlay of realism" (1998, p. 281). He asserts that he achieved this by creating believable dialogue and including lots of detail about the world he created. Therefore, I believe that it is creating a fully detailed world with an "emotionally realistic" cast of characters that results in readers being able to suspend their understanding of the "real" (Baudrillard, 2012, p. 367) world and fully immerse themselves in the "imaginary" (p. 367).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2017 16:31
    Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 16:31
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/23272

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