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Words Between Worlds: Portal Fantasy as Dialogic in Gaiman and Miéville

Baker,D 2014, Words Between Worlds: Portal Fantasy as Dialogic in Gaiman and Miéville, in The refereed proceedings of the 19th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, 2014, Wellington NZ, AAWP,, pp. 1-18.

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Title Words Between Worlds: Portal Fantasy as Dialogic in Gaiman and Miéville
Author(s) Baker,D
Conference name The Minding the gap: Writing across thresholds and fault lines papers
Conference location Wellington, NZ
Conference dates 2014/11/30 - 2014/12/2
Title of proceedings The refereed proceedings of the 19th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, 2014, Wellington NZ
Editor(s) Pittaway,G
Lodge,A
Smithies,L
Publication date 2014
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher AAWP
Summary Step through the looking-glass and where do you go? Inherently, every text exposes the reader to other worlds. However, the fantastic, like no other mode, not only exposes, but explores, explains, and employs other worlds (and how we enter them) to question what is real and unreal, possible and impossible.Using Farah Mendelsohn’s (2008) examination of portal fantasy, this paper argues that when you step into another world you leave something behind and bring something back. This Bakhtinian dialogic will then frame an analysis of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (2001) and China Miéville’s The City and the City (2009) which explore notions of organic subjectivity, reader expectations, and if gaps actually exist between textual and extra-textual, real and unreal.These atypical, self- reflexive, satirical portal fantasies express how writers position readers (not unlike their protagonists) in alternative conceptual realms, disturbing the everyday, the commonplace realities we often take for granted. As such, both texts and the discursive strategies they use ask: what do we see, or, as may be the case, un-see? Significantly, this paper suggests that, via self-conscious world-building, portal fantasies allow reader and writer the opportunity to inhabit those spaces between textual, ideological, generic, metaphorical, irrational, fantastic worlds.
ISBN 978-0-9807573-8-5
Field of Research 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2014, AAWP
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30071503

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.