Peter S. Beagle: The Last Unicorn (2729 words)


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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. …

Citation: Wise, Dennis Wilson. "The Last Unicorn". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 November 2019 [, accessed 09 July 2020.]

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