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OtherworldsFantasy and History in Medieval Literature$
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Aisling Byrne

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746003

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746003.001.0001

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Points of Departure

(p.184) Conclusion

Aisling Byrne

Oxford University Press

The Conclusion summarizes the findings of this book and places the book within the context of recent work in medieval studies and in cultural studies more generally. The last decades have seen the marvellous and the fantastical become increasingly serious subjects of study. This trend continues to find strong expression in medieval studies, in no small part because medieval culture itself is often distinguished by its willingness to take the marvellous seriously. The ways medieval authors treat otherworld accounts offer a striking example of this. In many ways, otherworlds are the most fantastical of medieval supernatural concepts. Yet, their capacity for engagement with the historical world is undiminished by this characteristic; if anything, it is enhanced by it.

Keywords:   fantasy, history, alterity, narrative, fiction

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