THE FANTASTIC, (DIS)ORIENTATION, AND (DIS)BELIEF: LAURA FELDT’S FANTASY THEORY IN WONDERLAND
Kristian D. Klippenstein
This article expands Laura Feldt’s modified fantasy theory as presented in The Fantastic in Religious Narrative from Exodus to Elisha. For Feldt, the function of the fantastic in the Hebrew Bible is to induce belief – both in characters and readers – in YHWH. She argues that the characters’s disorientation is a byproduct of being confronted by the fantastic and signals disbelief. In this article I suggest that Feldt’s linking of disorientation and disbelief in relation to the fantastic is an oversimplification. I apply Feldt’s theory to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to suggest that disorientation – in both religious and non-religious fantastic stories – is actually a sign of acknowledging (and therefore believing in) the fantastic. This belief-as-acknowledgement, which Feldt undervalues, is in fact necessary to perpetuate the narrative and thereby allow the fantastic to function, whatever its goals may be.
Laura Feldt; Lewis Carroll; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Exodus; Fantasy Theory