Saturday, 9 - 10:30 a.m.
on the artifice of his fictions (and of science
fiction) by casting them in the forms of parables,
fables, and enigmas, and by weaving through them a
texture of cross-references, of reflexive dreaming, and of self-conscious humor. Interpretation
depends on the reader's double consciousness both
of reality and artifice in the fictive world of a
single story and also of the real and artificial
correspondences among stories in the sequence.
The sense which can be made of Last Orders, then,
depends on the reader's use of Aldiss' first principles of interpretation to trace a constellation
Willis E. McMelly, California State University
Fullerton. "Entropy, Stasis, and Change in
Brian Aldiss' works seem obsessed with the problem
of entropy, stasis, and change. They are related
to Aldiss' view of art in Report on Probability A
and The Malacia Tapestry. These works form the
major structures upon which Aldiss' ideas of movement or progression are based. Some attention
will be given to the same problem in Helliconia
Spring and Life in the West.
ARCHITECTURE AND THE FANTASTIC IN LITERATURE
Chair: Grant Critchfield, University of Vermont.
Barbara T. Cooper, University of New Hampshire.
"L'Envers du decor: The Space of Enchantment in
George Sand's Cbnsuelo."
Chapter 95 of George Sand's Consuelo includes a
description of the Royal Opera House of Vienna as
seen from backstage. Following an analysis of this
description, I shall show how this backstage space
— located half way between reality and pure illusion — functions not only as the site of a fantastic experience, but also as a verbal and visual
metaphor for the place of the fantastic in the
Frank J. Miller, Colby College. "Petersburg Madness in
During the 19th Century, St. Petersburg came to be
regarded as artificial and European in contrast
with Moscow, the true Russian city. Russian
literature of this period often characterizes the
residents of Petersburg by their insincerity and
mental instability in comparison with the genuineness of Moscovites. In "The Queen of Spades" and
"The Bronze Horseman," Pushkin introduced into
Russian letters the theme of Petersburg madness
which was further developed by Gogol, Dostoevsky
and Tolstoy. The artificiality of the city
complements the artifice of its inhabitants.
Virginia A. Harger-Grinling, Memorial University of
Newfoundland. "Djinn by Alain Robbe-Grillet: or
the Architecture of the Fantastic."
Djinn's superficial simplicity, its veneer of
grammatical and architectural precision are in
fact totally deceptive, and what is assumed as
outer real space is gradually revealed to be the
inner tormented space operating on laws alien to
accepted logic and comprehension. The novel's
detailed preciseness and resultant confusion is
that of the protagonist but also reflects the
deliberate intention of the author to implicate
the reader in his creation. It the purpose of this
paper to examine the means by which Alain Robbe-
Grillet permits entry to his particular world of
the fantastic and to show how, by the structure of
the novel, distance is created between reader and
text, in order that a comprehension of of this
particular novel in the context of the total work
of the author may be obtained.
Mark Bernheim, Miami University. "The Never-Never Land
of Architecture and Real Estate Advertising in Dos
Passos' The Big Money."
The use of fantastic descriptive language for the
development of South Florida in the 1920s reveals
the unreal mental and spiritual atmosphere and the
corruption of the American Dream which Dos Passos
attacks in his trilogy. Public relations hype
bordering on the surreal links the authentic
constructs of a never-never land with a refusal of
Chair: Mike Budd, Florida Atlantic University.
James Van Dyck Card, Old Dominion University. "Some
Fantasy of the Forties."
Although fantasy during the forties was sometimes
said to lead to box office disaster, several films
such as Here Gomes Mr. Jordan were highly popular,
and several others such as Rene Clair's It Happened Tomorrow and Jul ien Duvivier's Flesh and
Fantasy have been unjustly neglected. During the
period England produced two superior fantasies,
Stairway to Heaven and Dead of Night, which were
partly indebted to Hollywood productions.
Mike Budd, Florida Atlantic University. "The Cabinet of
Dr. Caligari: The Fantastic and The Uncanny."
Although the 1920 German Expressionist film The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari does not fit neatly into
either the fantastic genre as defined by Todorov
or the uncanny as defined by Freud, its resemblance to these genres helps to reveal its curiously unstable and heterogeneous structure, an
uneasy mix of realist and modernist elements. The
reader's "hesitation" described by Todorov is most
likely a retrospective one in viewers of Caligari,
while the peculiar ambivalences of the film are
partly a result of the repression of classical
narrative, as in Freud's concept of the uncanny as
the return of the repressed.
Andrew Gordon, University of Florida. "E.T. as Fairy
Steven Spielberg is our wizard of the suburbs,
transforming tract homes into fairytale cottages.
In Close Encounters, Poltergeist, and E.T., he
deals not in science fiction but fantasy, the