General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Fantastic fiction. A Cultural and Ideological Introduction
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Alfons Gregori I Gomis
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Associate Professor / prof. ucz.
Faculty Faculty of Modern Languages and Literatures
Semester 2023/2024 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 09-FFCII-11


Friday, 9:45-11:15

Collegium Novum (al. Niepodległości 4), room 6A

Module aim (aims)

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Readiness to discuss texts in class, as well as basic terms of literary criticism and theory. English at B2 level. 


Week 1. A theoretical approach to the classical fantastic.

Week 2. E.T.A. Hoffmann: “The Sandman”.

Week 3. Edgar Allan Poe: “William Wilson”, “Berenice”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”.

Week 4. Guy de Maupassant: “Magnetism”, “The Apparition”, “The Horla”.

Week 5. Emilia Pardo Bazán: “The Woman Who Came Back to Life”, “The Talisman”; Miguel de Unamuno: “The Man Who Buried Himself”.

Week 6. Arthur Machen: “The Inmost Light”; H.P. Lovecraft: “The Call of Cthulhu”; Julio Cortázar: “House Taken Over”.

Week 7. Noel Clarasó: “Beyond Death”; Javier Marías: “Lord Rendall’s Song”; José María Merino: “The Deserter”.

Week 8. A theoretical approach to the contemporary fantastic. Franz Kafka: Metamorphosis.

Week 9. Juan José Arreola: “The Switchman”, “A Pact with the Devil”, “I’m Telling You the Truth”.

Week 10. Pere Calders: “The Desert”, “The Streak and the Wish”; Rodoreda: “My Cristina”.

Week 11. Julio Cortázar: “Letter to a Young Lady in Paris”, “Continuity of Parks”, “Axolotl”.

Week 12. Jorge Luis Borges: “The Library of Babel”, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius”, “The Circular Ruins”.

Week 13. Jorge Luis Borges: “Funes, His Memory”, “The Book of Sand”, “The Other”.

Week 14. Javier Marías: “Gualta”, “The Resignation Letter of Señor de Santiesteban”; Aixa de la Cruz: “True Milk”.

Week 15. Final exam.


Assessment overview

Final exam: 40%

Classroom discussion: 40%

Presentation in class: 20%


Assessment requirements for a pass: A mark of at least 50% overall.

Reading list



Jackson, Rosemary (1988). Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion. London / New York: Routledge.

Roas, David (2018). Behind the Frontiers of the Real: A Definition of the Fantastic. Cham: Palgrave Pivot.

The selected fiction.




Apter, T.E. (1982). Fantasy Literature: An Approach to Reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Armitt, Lucie. Fantasy Fiction: An Introduction. Continuum, 2005.

Gregori, Alfons (2018). “Crossing Impossible Boundaries? Fantastic Narrative and Ideology.” Exploring the Fantastic: Genre, Ideology, and Popular Culture (117-140). Ed. by Ina Batzke & al. Bielefeld: Transcript.

Mücke, Dorothea E. von (2003). The Seduction of the Occult and the Rise of the Fantastic Tale. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Siebers, Tobin (1984). The Romantic Fantastic. Ithaca, New York / London: Cornell University Press.

Todorov, Tzvetan (1975). The Fantastic. A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (R. Howard [trans.]). Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Traill, Nancy H. (1996). Possible Worlds of the Fantastic: The Rise of the Paranormal in Fiction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.