While reading an article (“Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”) for an annotated bibliography that I have to turn in for class, the author Chris Hildrew references the theories of Doug Whitley who explains the differences between fantasist, realist, and anti-realist. These were fascinating to me and I want to take moment to explore them in context to my own life and works.
So, this one is easy — Hildrew says that this is where the world or elements in the world are presented as “extraordinary.” This is where I find the most enjoyment. Yes, there should be an element of realism to ground the work, but I like things that I cannot see/experience in real life. This is where I live, this is where I work, this is where I breathe. One of the first books that I remember reading and enjoying on my own is a book about a car with the fins and tail of a fish and it “swims” underwater. While I, unfortunately, cannot remember the title or author (if anyone knows please leave it in the comments–you can even leave it in the comments of an unrelated post if this is closed as I want to know it so badly). There are books that I enjoyed so much, such as The Girl with the Silver Eyes that are a part of this Fantasist idea.
This one is also easy as this is one where real life is recreated and nothing extraordinary happens. I feel that there is a reason that this is called “mundane” by J. K. Rowling, but many more people love this representation of reality than fantasy (which they associate with children)–unfortunately, it seems that many critics (movie or otherwise), live in this space and prefer the concept. It goes without saying that this is my least favorite of the representations that Hildrew talks about.
Finally, the Anti-Realist is a very interesting paradigm as they are interested in showing the artifice behind movies (for example), although this could be extended to illustrating the those who remove the artifice. The example used in the article was the showing of movie cameras and boom mics in order to illustrate that a movie is a made thing that is constructed by people. I find this mode to be fairly interesting because (generalization here) many Americans (especially the ones that I come in contact with) don’t like to know how something is made (especially if it is entertainment). However, rhetoric is all about breaking things down and figuring out how they work. Now, I’m not mechanically inclined, so I can’t break down physical things (outside of computers). However, I can break down writing and reading fairly well and I’m able to understand the purpose behind things that I read or see, so the Anti-Realist structure appeals to me.
Any, thanks for allowing me to talk about this concept as I found it interesting. Have a great day!
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