FRIDAY, 11 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
being? Is there an unchanging human reality (a
soul perhaps) that constitutes the truth of human
nature? The dilemma, often expressed in the
imagery of deceptive containers which must be
broken through or out of, comes to the fore in the
first and final stories of the book: "Seeding
Program" and "Watershed." The second and third
stories — "The Thing in the Attic" and "Surface
Tension" — reveal not only a parallel structure
but the subtly pointed presence of a developing
sexual analogy for the pantropy process, which
does not so much reconcile the conflict between
change and truth as it provides a flickering third
term which, depending on how that term is taken,
may be related to both change and truth.
Michel Bailet, Acadia University,
The Fantastic in
Limiting myself to the etymological meaning of
"fantastic" derived from the vulgar Latin "fantas-
ticus" and the Greek "plantastikos" from "phan-
tasia," imagination, I focus particularly on the
working of a kind of retrospective imagination in
Padre Padrone which allows the hero to "re-live"
episodes from his past life. And yet with curious
and self perpetrating circularity these very fantasies spring essentially from reality itself, but
a reality which has already impregnated the subconscious.
Michael Collings, Pepperdine University. "Artificial
Languages in Science Fiction"
Wittgenstein said, "The limits of my language mean
the limits of my world." As science fiction moves
farther from our world, the potentials of language
must expand. Among 20th Century writers who
explore the significance of language systems are
C. S. Lewis, A. E. Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein,
George Orwell, and most extensively Samuel R.
Delany. But as early as 1668, John Wilkins of the
Royal Society devised an artificial language in
which the symbols were directly related to the
meanings they carried. It could be seen as a
prototypical "Babel-17," though it was too
unwieldy even for its inventor.
FANTASTIC IN ITALIAN LITERATURE, II
Chair: Mario B. Mignone, State University of New York
at Stony Brook.
Thomas E. Vesce, Mercy Collate. "Fantastic Encounters
in Early Italian Literature."
Early Italian folk-legends and songs of chivalry
often served to express the stages of individual
development and the classic need to fantasize
one's role in society. This paper tests this
premise by means of a review of the works of
Antonio Pucci, Andrea da Barberino and one or two
other anonymous cantari from the Trecento-
Vera F. Golini, St. Jerome's College. "Fact and Fantasy in the Decameron."
Eminent critics of Boccaccio (Bruno Maier among
them) have repeatedly called attention to the
paramount role which the element of "realism"
plays in the whole of the Decameron. "Realism,"
however exists as a firm basis for the fantastic
medieval machinations and imagination of the
writer. In some of the tales whose very internal
progression and, indeed, existence depend primarily on fortuitous, quite improbable occurrences,
the element of realism is second in importance to
that unique sense of the fantastic which has been
so appreciated in Boccaccio, but has not yet been
LATIN AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY FICTION: FANTASY AND THE
A. Pardinas-Barnes, Georgetown
Michael Capobianco, St. Johns University. "Quantum
Theory, Spacetime, and Borges' Bifurcations."
An analysis of Borges' story, "The Garden of the
Forking Paths," is presented using a space-time
diagram, a device of modern physics. The relationship between the structure of this story and
one of the contemporary interpretations of quantum
theory is discussed. It seems that Borges anticipated a viable scientific viewpoint in this "fic-
Eugene Maio, University of Akron. "German
Expressionism and Hispanic Magical Realism."
Not only did the new Spanish American narrative
take its name, Magischer Realismus, from German
Expressionist painting, but Hispanic fiction also
shares with Expressionism a new aproach to reality. A comparison of some paintings by Kandinsky,
Nolde, Klee, Marc and Macke with the fiction of
Borges, Carpentier, Cortazar, Rulfo, and Garcia
Marquez reveals that both artistic groups strive
to generate an emotional state of being through
the creative use of the unconscious, the fantastic, the mythic, and the cosmic. Both painter and
writer reach for intuitions of a magical or unreal
reality. These artists tell us that how we formulate the environment becomes the environment itself. Nature or objective reality is no longer a
reliable referent for human creativity. Ambiguity
and enigma become acceptable dimensions of reality.
Joseph Tyler, West Georgia College. "'Chac Mool': A
Journey Into the Fantastic."
Carlos Fuentes' short story "Chac Mool" owes much
to earlier literature of the fantastic, in general
and in particular. The narrator even quotes
Borges, and the line quoted supports the edifice
of the fantastic in the story. Thus Fuentes'
affinity with other writers in this genre can be
seen not only as allusion and parallel but also as
illuminating the story itself.