Friday, April 25, 2008

Neat Concept: Fantatwee

Courtesy of Andrew Wheeler, I found this post by Nick Mamatas quite enlightening. I'm including a reference here so that if I ever have to use the word "fantatwee" (though fate willing, it shouldn't come up), you'll know where it comes from.

Fantatwee leaves out the shell shock. In the fairy tale mode, the jagged edges of fairy tales are filed off, and replaced with a faux threat — Snow White with fangs, a few more mentions of blood, that sort of thing. But there's no terror, no threat of the horrid arbitrariness that lies at the intersection of fairyland and early modernity. The story isn't renovated or explored or undermined. Instead, what enjoyment there is in the reading of it is the stuff of bedtime: "One upon a time...the end." "Read it again, mama!" Nothing drives the story but the prior existence of the story; the new version's theme is nothing more than "Hey, remember this old story that used to mean something? Well, it still used to."
I know I've read some of these. They can be well crafted and enjoyable, but it's the literary equivalent of empty calories.

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