Of course, at the most basic level, it is an awkward portmanteau word (a word made by mashing other words together, per Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland).
But what does it mean? To explain, let me draw on the work of Virginia Woolf, one of the great prose stylists of the English language (rounding out the top three, I would argue, are Charles Dickens and Jane Austen; expect posts on all three at some point in the future). At the start of her essay A Room of One’s Own, Woolf parses the subject of her essay, “women and fiction”:
The title women and fiction might mean… women and what they are like, or it might mean women and the fiction that they write; or it might mean women and the fiction that is written about them, or it might mean that somehow all three are inextricably mixed together and you want me to consider them in that light. But when I began to consider the subject in this last way, which seemed the most interesting, I soon saw that it had one fatal drawback. I should never be able to come to a conclusion. (Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own)
Of course Woolf will address all of these subjects in her essay, which is why she needs 100+ pages. Who knows how many pages this blog will end up filling?
In brief, then, fantasyculture, following in the footsteps of Woolf, will explore the following: the role of fantasy (literature, film, tv, etc) in our culture; the role culture plays in shaping our fantasies, and the way that culture and its manifestations are built on fantasies. And of course how all of these things intersect. Like Woolf, then, perhaps I shall never be able to come to a conclusion….
Upcoming posts: What is culture? What is fantasy?