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Man is a fantastic animal; he was born of fantasy, he is the son of "the mad woman of the house." And universal history is the gigantic and thousand-year effort to go on putting order into that huge, disorderly, anti-animal fantasy. What we call reason is no more than fantasy put into shape. Is there anything in the world more fantastic than that which is the most rational? Is there anything more fantastic than the mathematical point, and the infinite line, and, in general, all mathematics and all physics? Is there a more fantastic fancy than what we call "justice" and the other thing that we call "happiness"?
Jose Ortega y Gasset
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Of course all children's literature is not fantastic, so all fantastic books need not be children's books. It is still possible, even in an age so ferociously anti-romantic as our own, to write fantastic stories for adults: though you will usually need to have made a name in some more fashionable kind of literature before anyone will publish them.
C. S. Lewis
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The fantastic in literature doesn't exist as a challenge to what is probable, but only there where it can be increased to a challenge of reason itself: the fantastic in literature consists, when all has been said, essentially in showing the world as opaque, as inaccessible to reason on principle. This happens when Piranesi in his imagined prisons depicts a world peopled by other beings than those for which it was created. ("On the Fantastic in Literature")
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Supernatural fiction contains its own generic borderland: a neutral territory, which Tzvetan Todorov calls 'the fantastic, ' between 'the marvelous' and 'the uncanny.' According to Todorov, 'The fantastic is that hesitation experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparently supernatural event.' Once the event is satisfactorily explained (and sometimes it is never explained), we have left the fantastic for an adjacent genre - either 'the uncanny, ' where the apparently supernatural is revealed as illusory, or 'the marvelous, ' where the laws of ordinary reality must be revised to incorporate the supernatural. As long as uncertainty reigns, however, we are in the ambiguous realm of the fantastic.
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When I write short fiction or novellas, I like to leave a hint of the fantastic, of the unreal. If you write a completely fantastic novel with ghosts and everything, the effect is less powerful than if you portray an absolutely realistic situation and, in the middle of this, you put a layer of fantasy, of mystery.
Antonio Munoz Molina
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As has already been noted, fantastic literature developed at precisely the moment when genuine belief in the supernatural was on the wane, and when the sources provided by folklore could safely be used as literary material. It is almost a necessity, for the writer as well as for the reader of fantastic literature, that he or she should not believe in the literal truth of the beings and objects described, although the preferred mode of literary expression is a naive realism. Authors of fantastic literature are, with a few exceptions, not out to convert, but to set down a narrative story endowed with the consistency and conviction of inner reality only during the time of the reading: a game, sometimes a highly serious game, with anxiety and fright, horror and terror.
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My favorite - my very favorite movie, which I suppose is a bit of a guilty pleasure in that it's like, you know, every scene, you know, pushes every button, is 'True Romance' directed by Tony Scott with Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater, and it's a fantastic, fantastic film, very violent, very romantic.
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When we were trying to find the woman to play Maura Isles, it was a no-brainer when Sasha came in. We just knew it was her, and she did such a fantastic job. She got the job, right then and there, in the room, and it was great. We actually played a little joke on her. She's a great lady and we've had a really, really fantastic time.
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Poetry, even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality. It speaks of what seems fantastic and unreal to those who have lost the simple intuitions which are the test of reality; and, as it is often found at war with its age, so it makes no account of history, which is fabled by the daughters of memory.
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Sex was like a world so mysterious to me, I really couldn't believe there was this fantastic texture to life that I was getting to do...it has all these different levels, from lust and fearful, violent sex to the real spiritual thing at the other end. It's the key to some fantastic mystery of life.
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The fantastic postulates that there are forces in the outside world, and in our own natures, which we can neither know nor control, and these forces may even constitute the essence of our existence, beneath the comforting rational surface. The fantastic is, moreover, a product of human imagination, perhaps even an excess of imagination. It arises when laws thought to be absolute are transcended, in the borderland between life and death, the animate and the inanimate, the self and the world; it arises when the real turns into the unreal, and the solid presence into vision, dream or hallucination. The fantastic is the unexpected occurrence, the startling novelty which goes contrary to all our expectations of what is possible. The ego multiplies and splits, time and space are distorted.
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Is it wholly fantastic to admit the possibility that Nature herself strove toward what we call beauty? Face to face with any one of the elaborate flowers which man's cultivation has had nothing to do with, it does not seem fantastic to me. We put survival first. But when we have a margin of safety left over, we expend it in the search for the beautiful. Who can say that Nature does not do the same?
Joseph Wood Krutch
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I play Father Francis in 'The Exorcist Prequel.' It's fantastic. We are shooting in Morrocco and Rome. Paul Schrader is directing; Stellan Skarsgard plays the younger Max Von Sydow character. It's just a fantastic script. It's a very eerie, very scary script. It encomposes a growing dread that I think is really appropriate for the film.
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Life itself has lost its plane reality: it is projected, not along the old fixed points, but along the dynamic coordinates of Einstein, of revolution. In this new projection, the best-known formulas and objects become displaced, fantastic, familiar-unfamiliar. This is why it is so logical for literature today to be drawn to the fantastic plot, or to the amalgam of reality and fantasy. ("The New Russian Prose")
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The Hindu religion appears ... as a cathedral temple, half in ruins, noble in the mass, often fantastic in detail but always fantastic with a significance crumbling or badly outworn in places, but a cathedral temple in which service is still done to the Unseen and its real presence can be felt by those who enter with the right spirit.
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The thing about many celebrities - not all - is that they're fantastic actors. If we've created a really juicy role, it just feels like a fantastic actor should be playing the part. If it's a long enough part, we consider anyone. If it's a single episode, we don't usually let a single actor on. Because that' s just stunting.
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The Doctor: Rose... before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? [Pause] So was I! [The TARDIS lights up with energy as the Doctor regenerates into his tenth incarnation.] The Tenth Doctor: Hello! Okay"" [The Doctor pauses and swallows uncomfortably] New teeth. That's weird. So where was I? Oh, that's right. Barcelona! [Grins]
Russell T Davies
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The Doctor: Rose... before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? [Pause] So was I! [The TARDIS lights up with energy as the Doctor regenerates into his tenth incarnation.] The Tenth Doctor: Hello! Okay- [The Doctor pauses and swallows uncomfortably] New teeth. That's weird. So where was I? Oh, that's right. Barcelona! [Grins]
Russell T. Davies
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Life itself today has lost its plane reality: it is projected, not along the old fixed points, but along the dynamic coordinates of Einstein, of revolution. In this new projection, the best-known formulas and objects become displaced, fantastic, familiar-unfamiliar. This is why it is so logical for literature today to be drawn to the fantastic plot, or to an amalgam of reality and fantasy.
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I think a lot of times it just looks like Hollywood actors in Halloween costumes, you know? And I think what we're going to do with Fantastic Four is going to be very grounded and it made sense to me. When I read the script, I didn't feel like I was reading this larger-than-life, incredible superhero tale. These are all very human people that end up having to become I guess what is known as the Fantastic Four. So for me it was just a really good story and gives me an opportunity to play something different from my own skin. It's a proper character and that's my favorite stuff to do.
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If I write a fantastic story, I'm not writing something willful. On the contrary, I am writing something that stands for my feelings, or for my thoughts. So that, in a sense, a fantastic story is as real and perhaps more real than a mere circumstantial story. Because after all, circumstances come and go, and symbols remain.
Jorge Luis Borges
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The main challenge is technology and that's something I really push and work closely with Adidas on. They're real leaders in sports performance; always trying to push that further and further and get the best technology they can. That takes time and has rigorous testing, it's very laborious, but it's also very rewarding. You get to work with fantastic athletes, and that's a fantastic thing that has nothing to do with my day job in ready-to-wear.
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The love of writing comes at a very early age. For me, for instance, comic books so affected me. And a lot of people who come up to me and start talking about writing, when I start talking to them about the "Fantastic Four," they look at me aghast. They say, "'The Fantastic Four?' That's not literature." I say, "Yeah, but it was when I was 11 years old." This was literature.
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Everyone was at Martin Freeman's house, and Martin was there and his wife was sat at his feet and Amanda [Abbington, Freeman's wife] was crying and so was I and I tried to laugh it off but that turned into this enormous sob in front of everyone and I just thought, oh brilliant. I just found it terribly moving. Martin is just amazing in that last bit, it's beautiful, that kind of incomprehension and devastation, it's fantastic, with his sort of military shuffle at the grave. Fantastic.
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I think Morris has a fantastic zest for life. He's hit upon something, and that is this central question: 'I'm full of life now, but what do I see in the future? A slow, steady disintegration into paralysis. Do I go out while I'm on top, or do I want to hang around, inch by inch, watching myself decay and have my family watch me decay?' He approaches this subject with tremendous humor, and he's never depressing -- he's always way ahead of everybody else, and full of life. He's a fantastic character.
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The fantastic is in complicity with the realist model, in the claims that realism makes to represent the true face of reality. It points to the gaps and inadequacies of realism, but does not question the legitimacy of its claims to represent reality. The concept of 'suspension of disbelief', that beloved criterion of positivist criticism supposedly serving to establish the legitimacy of the fantastic, confirms this hegemony.
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I love the way folktale and fantasy tap into the roots of story telling. The paradox, for me, is that by moving a story into the fantastic we can actually bring it closer to the reader, not move it further away. It is more than an escape. When we read of the only daughter of a fisherman (or the third son of a woodcutter) in a fairy tale, we are all that character. That's the underlying pulse beat of such tales. Using the fantastic as a prism for the past, if done properly, removes the tale from distancing specificity. It can't just be read as unique to a time and place; it is universalized in interesting, powerful ways. When I wrote Tigana, about the way tyranny tries to erase identity in conquered peoples, the fantasy setting seems to have done exactly that: I'm asked in places ranging from Korea to Poland to Croatia to Quebec, "Were you writing about us?" I was. All of them. That is the point. The fantastic is a tool in the writer's arsenal, as potentially powerful as any there is, and any tool we have works to the benefit of the reader.
Guy Gavriel Kay
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In chess the most unbelievable thing for me is that it's a game for everybody: rich, poor, girl, boy, old, young. It's a fantastic game which can unite people and generations! It's a language which you'll find people "speak" in every country. If you reach a certain level you find a very rich world! Art, sport, logic, psychology, a battlefield, imagination, creativity not only in practical games but don't forget either how amazing a feeling it is to compose a study, for example (unfortunately that's not appreciated these days but it's a fantastic part of chess!).
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Inevitably, his vision verged toward the fantastic; he published a scattering of stories - most included in this volume - which appeared to conform to that genre at least to the degree that the fuller part of his vision could be seen as "mysteries." For Woolrich it all was fantastic; the clock in the tower, hand in the glove, out of control vehicle, errant gunshot which destroyed; whether destructive coincidence was masked in the "naturalistic" or the "incredible" was all pretty much the same to him. RENDEZVOUS IN BLACK, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK, NIGHTMARE are all great swollen dreams, turgid constructions of the night, obsession and grotesque outcome; to turn from these to the "fantastic" was not to turn at all. The work, as is usually the case with a major writer was perfectly formed, perfectly consistent, the vision leached into every area and pulled the book together. "Jane Brown's Body" is a suspense story. THE BRIDE WORE BLACK is science fiction. PHANTOM LADY is a gothic. RENDEZVOUS IN BLACK was a bildungsroman. It does not matter.
Barry N. Malzberg
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Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.
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