Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

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In all likelihood, most readers and critics will always closely associate Peter S. Beagle with his best-known work,

The Last Unicorn

(1968), an allusive metafictional quest narrative originally conceived as a James Thurber-type spoof on fairy tales. As a fantasist emerging during the late 1960s, though, when

The Lord of the Ring’s

surging popularity would soon make J. R. R. Tolkien nearly synonymous with fantasy, Beagle quickly showed readers what else the form might accomplish. In

The Last Unicorn

, Beagle combines the extant tradition of fairy tales and non-realist texts—including T. H. White, Lord Dunsany, and others—with contemporary popular culture and canonical Anglo-American literature. Lines from advertising slogans, jazz and cabaret songs, and punchlines from popular jokes…

2729 words

Citation: Wise, Dennis Wilson. "The Last Unicorn". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 November 2019 [, accessed 14 July 2024.]

38972 The Last Unicorn 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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