The Fantastic (as opposed to, for instance, the far broader genre, concept or category of “fantasy”) is a mode of fiction in which the possible and the impossible (or most frequently “reality” and the paranormal, or the supernatural) are confounded, so as to leave the reader (and usually the narrator and/or protagonist) with no satisfying explanation for the strange events which have occurred within a fictional world. The pure, or unresolved, fantastic thrived in the high Gothic period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in various European literatures. The first text cited in this category is customarily Jacques Cazotte's short novel The Devil in Love (Le Diable amoureux, 1772). Other prime …
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Cornwell, Neil. "Fantastic, The". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1215, accessed 29 May 2017.]