Deakin University
Browse
baker-wordsbetweenworlds-2014.pdf (388.82 kB)

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

Download (388.82 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2014-12-31, 00:00 authored by Daniel BakerDaniel Baker
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.

History

Event

The Minding the gap: Writing across thresholds and fault lines papers

Pagination

1 - 18

Publisher

AAWP

Location

Wellington, NZ

Start date

2014-11-30

End date

2014-12-02

ISBN-13

978-0-9807573-8-5

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2014, AAWP

Editor/Contributor(s)

G Pittaway, A Lodge, L Smithies

Title of proceedings

The refereed proceedings of the 19th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, 2014, Wellington NZ

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Keywords

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC