-- From "Intersections of Age and Gender", "The Middle Ages" section[...] One of the key differences between modern and medieval is in the interpretation of miracles. Miracles were in keeping with the technical operations of the world, according to many medieval scholars, because of the direct role God and his assisting beings played in medieval cosmology. Augustine argued that the only true miracle was creation itself. What we call “miracles” and think of as events breaking with established order and bringing about the fantastic were considered unusual manifestations of God’s workings. In literary terms, saints were often described as interlocutors with God, meaning those who requested or triggered these events. This distinction is important in considering texts in the Middle Ages in the context of literary equivalents to modern speculative ﬁction: the religious mindset and its description of reality clearly moved the Divine and its evocation from the fantastic to the mundane. What this means in terms of equivalencies will be seen below, but essentially it means that works where the Divine is expressed are closer to the contemporary understanding of science ﬁction than to fantasy in terms of how they explore the universe.
One of my serendipitous Google searches when I was processing several thought-threads at once. It's interesting because I have always thought that if one wants to be understood by the Moderns and classify Tolkien's works as "fiction" at all, then it belongs in the Sci-Fi category, not what is now meant by "fantasy" (e.g., Conan sort of stories about heroes with "massive thews" and "resourceful vixen" heroines and such-like -- I think they also refer to this genre as "Sword and Sorcery"). As an Animist, I also tend to see things via a similar "medieval" schema.
To: me, Dineen
Date: Feb 4
That makes sense, because I've never felt even the slightest need to read any "Fantasy" such as you describe, outside of Tolkien (and Pratchett, though I feel that's rather just satire).
I've often leafed through those characteristic three-inch fantasy paperbacks (often coming in series of at least three volumes) but internally just blanked out ("hmmmm, ehh, .... Yes. I see. Right.")
I had a friend who, for some reason, referred to these books as "Urfenetuffle-Books" which I thought described them pretty well
Maybe I'm off, but I think they started with those books about those Neanderthal people? Anyhow, there must be thousands. But yeah, I've indeed always felt that Tolkien was another category altogether.
But I always have liked Science Fiction.