Phantastes, A Faerie Romance for Men and Women

Phantastes, A Faerie Romance for Men and Women

3.5 27
by George MacDonald
     
 

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Introduction by C. S. Lewis

In October 1857, George MacDonald wrote what he described as "a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work." This was Phantastes—one of MacDonald’s most important works; a work which so overwhelmed C. S. Lewis that a few hours after he began reading it he knew he "had

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Overview

Introduction by C. S. Lewis

In October 1857, George MacDonald wrote what he described as "a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work." This was Phantastes—one of MacDonald’s most important works; a work which so overwhelmed C. S. Lewis that a few hours after he began reading it he knew he "had crossed a great frontier."

The book is about the narrator’s (Anodos) dream-like adventures in fairyland, where he confronts tree-spirits and the shadow, sojourns to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The tale is vintage MacDonald, conveying a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461047704
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/29/2011
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.33(d)

Meet the Author

George MacDonald (1824–1905) is well known for writing fantasy and fairy tales that have inspired notable authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, W. H. Auden, Madeleine L’Engle, G. K. Chesterton, Elizabeth Yates, Mark Twain and C. S. Lewis. The Scottish author once served as pastor of Trinity Congregational Church, Arundel, and later was also engaged in ministerial work in Manchester. He eventually settled in London and taught at the University of London, and lectured successfully in the United States during 1872–1873. MacDonald was also editor of Good Words for the Young for a time.

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Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
MLucero More than 1 year ago
Perhaps it was my high expectations which have cooled my impressions of Phantastes: for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two of my favorite authors, both considered this man among their highest inspirations. (Lewis once said that MacDonald was his master, and that he could not think of a book he had written in which he had not quoted the nineteenth century poet, proto-fantasist and sermon writer.) Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed this book, for it was filled with images of beauty, subtle power, and transportation, infused with a melancholy which aroused longing rather than dampened it. The story of Anodos, a skeptical young man who finds himself one morning in Fairy Land, and of his journeys and travels there, in which he begins by searching for his Ideal beauty, and ends by losing his Shadow and his pride, is a well crafted and meaningful one. And the theme of Death, not as a curse, but as a gift, as a doorway to fulfillment of desire, is resonant and beautiful and true. But it lacks the meaning and mystery, the truth and transcendance, of Lewis' fantasies (both in his Ransom trilogy and his Narnia chronicles).
Holy-Quest More than 1 year ago
C.S. Lewis referred to George MacDonald as "his master." That's quite a compliment coming from an author as world-renowned and loved as C.S. Lewis. However, C.S. Lewis was not the only writer to be inspired by MacDonald; Lewis Carroll, W.H. Auden, G.K Chesterton, Mark Twain, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and E. Nesbit were also influenced by MacDonald's writing. Phantastes is a fantasy into which you must immerse yourself to appreciate. (Phantastes was the novel that C.S. Lewis said baptized his imagination.) The central character, Anodos, steps out of our world and enters a fantastic world, rich in imagery and full of memorable sub-plots. Like many of MacDonald's other stories, it is a story of death, but as C.S Lewis was quick to notice, it is a good death. What I love most about MacDonald's romantic fantasies are the beautiful images he paints, the interwoven sub-plots, and the deep truths that under-gird his stories. His meandering style (mentioned above) helps me to lose myself in the story rather than trying to guess at where he might be going with every twist or turn. I also like the fact that you never really leave his stories behind. Instead, you go on thinking about them, returning to them, wondering and wandering about them. MacDonald's protagonists are continually stepping into and out of the present, everyday world and the fantastic, extraordinary other-world. I find this simply fascinating. If you are like stories that are both deep and rich in imagination, you're likely to enjoy Phantastes. (If you wish to add this book to your home library, I like the ones published by Johannesen best. They have a lovely binding and are facsimiles of the original printing. If you prefer paperback, then I recommend Eerdmans because they include C.S. Lewis' introduction.)
Loiseau More than 1 year ago
This book tells the tale of a man who enters Fairyland and the adventures that he has there. "Phantastes" obviously influenced J.R.R. Tolien and C.S. Lewis. Although I gave this book five stars, its queerness really renders it outside of any rating system.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horrendous spelling errors...dont bother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is unreadable because of the errors in the text. If you like trying to figure out what hhh means from context then you will enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not for light reading. If not a Narnia fan don' go further.
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The book is good, but the free nook-book is full of typos.
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