Question: "High" concepts in Fantasy

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Feb 26 16:30:53 EST 2003


On Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:45:21 -0800 (PST), Jon Noble wrote:

>--- "Ian W. Riddell" <iwriddell at charter.net> wrote:
>> So, it's me popping up with another question.
>> 
>> What's the definition of "high fantasy"? What are
>> some examples? Is 
>> there a parallel "low" fantasy?
>> 
>> widdy

>I've seen various definitions of what constitutes
>"high" fantasy, although only one of "low" fantasy,
>although it should logically be the oposite of
>whatever you define as "high". 

I find it very difficult to define, despite my tendency to use the term.  To
me it means the kind of fantasy that is primarily concerned with the
struggle between Good and Evil, in which Good and Evil are fairly easy to
tell apart (though individuals may be shades of gray), which may also
heavily depend on fantasy archetypes/stereotypes and mythology.  This isn't
the one true definition--it's just the one that satisfies me.

>Personally I find the "low" definition useful to
>categorise a type of story, but not the "high" one.

For my part, I've never found "low" very useful, probably because it sounds
negative to me.  Though oddly I don't have the opposite reaction to "high,"
so who knows what that means.  I liked the definition you came up with
though.

Melissa Proffitt

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