La Roue du Temps (La Roue du Temps, Tome 1) by Robert Jordan

By Robert Jordan

Au will pay des Deux Rivières, on va fêter le I printemps : Rand half livrer le cidre au bourg avec son père. Osera-t-il demander une danse à Egwene ? Et pourquoi voit-il ce cavalier noir derrière lui ?
Dame Moiraine lui révèle que le cavalier noir le cherche : Rand doit se réfugier à Tar Valon, chez les Aes Sedai, maîtresses du pouvoir special. Le pouvoir unique... Le Seigneur de l'Ombre ayant jadis voulu conquérir le monde, les Aes Sedai, conduites par le Dragon, le repoussèrent aux confins de l'univers. Pour se venger, il suscita chez les vainqueurs une folie meurtrière. On dit que le Dragon renaîtra pour délivrer l. a. Terre ravagée... et voici que le vent se lève dans les Montagnes de l. a. Brunie.

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The boy must eventually separate himself from his dependency on – and desire for – the mother and must face up to his father. In doing so, the boy becomes more ‘‘man-like,’’ thereby maturing and perpetuating the heterosexual family configuration. But the child must also repress this guilty ‘‘fantasy’’ of desiring the mother and harming the father, and so Bettelheim and others argue that the symbolic content of fairy tales helps children work through such conflicts on a subconscious level. Although Freudians draw heavily on the Oedipal myth, the relationship between fairy tales, myths, and the unconscious is highly complex, A BRIEF CRITICAL OVERVIEW 43 E1C03_1 01/20/2010 44 particularly because each of these terms is defined differently by different scholars.

In contrast to those like Irwin or Tolkien who attempt to circumscribe the boundaries of fantasy, a more open-ended approach can be found, for example, in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. In this indispensable tome, John Clute and John Grant acknowledge the debt that modern fantasy owes to antiquity, but also explore the many tendrils of fantasy across genres, movements, and modern media – including film. Like Tolkien they note a number of the so-called ‘‘taproot texts’’ that contribute to the ‘‘cauldron of story,’’ such as Apuleius, Bunyan, Cervantes, Chaucer, Dante, Malory, Rabelais, and Shakespeare, to name just a few (ix).

The value of Hume’s position lies in the A BRIEF CRITICAL OVERVIEW 41 E1C03_1 01/20/2010 42 acknowledgement that what we choose to call fantasy is a question of degree and not of kind. Just as fantasy, science fiction, or horror fall along a continuum, so do realist and fantasy elements. Fantasy has the potential to challenge the status quo since it can explore what would otherwise be repressed, and so it is not surprising that psychological analyses of the genre are common. In Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, Rosemary Jackson focuses on the many fantastic and Gothic texts that inform Todorov’s work, seeing the fantastic as being particularly open to a psychological reading because of its connection to fantasy as a mental process.

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