Show Less
Restricted access

Therapy Through Faёrie

Therapeutic Properties of Fantasy Literature by the Inklings and by U. K. Le Guin

Anna Cholewa-Purgal

This book argues that the fantasy fiction rooted in J. R. R. Tolkien’s concept of Faёrie, as represented by the fantasy works of the Inklings and of U. K. Le Guin, has certain psychotherapeutic properties. Faёrie’s generic ‘ethos’ seems to draw on ‘moral imagination’ and on logos (meaning and word), which informs its secondary worlds and encourages a search for an unconditional sense of life, against the postmodern neo-nihilistic aporia. The book postulates an applicability of logotherapy (‘therapy through meaning’, developed after WW2 by Victor Frankl,) to the workings of Faёrie, whose bibliotherapeutic potential rests on its generic marks, identified by Tolkien as Fantasy, Recovery, Escape (breaking free from incarcerating meaninglessness), Consolation, and (cathartic) Eucatastrophe.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter Six: Mythopathy, logotherapy and (non)sensopaedia or the psychotherapeutic properties of high fantasy ethos, as reflected in the works of the Inklings and of U. K. Le Guin

Extract

| 253 →

Chapter Six

Mythopathy, logotherapy and (non)sensopaedia or the psychotherapeutic properties of high fantasy ethos, as reflected in the works of the Inklings and of U. K. Le Guin

This chapter seeks to address the essence of my book, that is the psychotherapeutic properties of fantasy narrative in the works of the Inklings and of Le Guin, now focusing on the genre itself, as endorsed by the writers in question. The previously made assumptions about a therapeutic dimension of narrative as such, (concerning what could be termed as therapy through narrative), and of art (that is art therapy), as reflected in literature and made possible thanks to its pictoriality, musicality, and, generally, its interartistic ekphrastic plasticity, obviously still hold their ground, for they provide an important context for therapy. Since these qualities regard various literary genres, in this chapter, however, I intend to outline psychotherapeutic properties that pertain specifically to high fantasy literature, that is the fantasy fiction stipulated by Tolkien and advocated to an appreciable extent by C. S. Lewis and Le Guin. In so doing the previously introduced concepts of mythopathy, logotherapy and therapia pauperum are called upon in order to determine the psychotherapeutic potential of Faërie. The initial premise of my argument is that high fantasy genre has its own ethos, according to which the genre is value-based and moral, although not really moralizing; and hence, it enhances an unconditional meaning, or Logos, which in Faërie is bound...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.