New Directions in the European Fantastic
Since the end of the Cold War a significant number of fantastic texts, films, artworks and new media practices across Europe have raised social and political questions. The fantastic typically works to disrupt the mimetic through supernatural, magical and visionary means. In this sense it breaks through boundaries of genre, space and identity. This volume explores a variety of contemporary fantastic literature and films, television, comics and cultural practices, ranging from new trends in European cinema over Polish fantasy novels to the role of the fantastic in contemporary European paganisms. The contributions show how the fantastic is used to comment on, and come to terms with, traumatic events; how it renegotiates the good-versus-evil opposition as well as the figure of the hero in texts produced after the end of the Cold War and in the wake of 9/11. A special focus is given to genre developments and to major themes such as the formation of national, cultural and personal identities or the blurring and redefinition of boundaries. ‘New Directions in the European Fantastic’ is an invaluable contribution both to the study of the traffic of the fantastic across genres, cultures and media and to critical debates about post-Cold-War and post-9/11 culture.