1 The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University2 Medier og Kultur, The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University3 Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University
Donald Barthelme's Allegorical Flights
From the Introduction: Camelia Elias' "There is a Text in 'The Balloon': Donald Barthelme's Allegorical Flights" provides its reader with a much-need and useful distinction between fantasy and the fantastic: "whereas fantasy in critical discourse can be aligned with allegory, in which a supernatural world can be said to stand for a figurative representation of our real world, the fantastic has the potential to occur within the world that we know", and with Todorov as the point of departure this distinction is expanded into an epistemological investigation of these two central terms. The concept of knowledge and story-telling is exemplified in the Biblical Fall-myth and in Scheherazade. Here Camelia Elias' gendered and witty point is that man knows (or rather wishes to know) and that woman knows (but does not tell). Finally, the meaning of a giant balloon appearing in the sky over New York in Donald Barthelme's short story "The Balloon" from 1968 is discussed in the light of the chapter's epistemological understanding of fantasy.