Reading the World, creating Worlds: Possible Worlds in fantasy

Orsetta Innocenti


This paper – which has been developed within a dialogue with Simona Micali’s one, regarding possible worlds within science fiction – aims at investigating those narrative strategies engaged in the processes of world building and construction of meaning in fantasy. Within such a frame, all the typical mechanisms related to the act of reading and to the act of make-believe will be also taken into account. The analysis focuses onto Ende’s Neverending Story, which is interpreted through a confrontation both with Wolfgang Iser’s theory about the act of reading, considered as a phenomenological act, and with Tolkien’s primary fantasy model of The Lord of the Rings. Starting from these premises, the paper also suggests a possible theoretical model of textual cooperation reader-author within the specific literary genre of fantasy.


Possible worlds; Fantasy; Act of reading; Ende; Iser; Tolkien

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