Reality vs. Illusion in John Fowles's The Magus

Trimisa la data: 2021-12-21 Materia: Limba Engleza Pagini: 33 Comentarii: 0 (comenteaza) Autor: stefhy97
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CONTENTS


I. KEY CONCEPTS: REALITY AND ILLUSION..............................................3

I.1 Reality............................................................................................3

I.2 Illusion...........................................................................................7


II. FOWLES AND POSTMODERNISM..........................................................8

II.1 What is Postmodernism? ..................................................................8
II.2 Fowles and Postmodernism..............................................................10
II.2.1. Intertextuality and the politics of interpretation................................................14
II.2.1.1 Intertextuality, Case 1...................................................................15
II.2.1.1.1 Shakespeare in John Fowles's The Magus.........................................15
II.2.1.1.2. Other Cases of Intertextuality......................................................17
II.2.1.2. Intertextuality, Case 2 .................................................................18
II.3.Conclusions...................................................................................21
III. REALITY VERSUS ILLUSION.................................................................24
III.1 The Narcissist: Nicholas Urfe.............................................................24
III.2 The Magician: Conchis.....................................................................26
III.3. Reality.......................................................................................27
Conclusions.................................................................................................30
Bibliography................................................................................................32
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Lucrare de licenta despre Reality vs. Illusion in John Fowles's The Magus

ARGUMENT

Deities, gods, ghosts, fantastic creatures... since I was a chid I was fascinated with the realm of supernatural. But as I grew up I learnt that all that was just fiction created by the human mind. Of course at first I was disappointed that the beings I loved hearing about were just fruits of people's imagination that believed in gods centuries ago. While comprehending that such beings were inexistent, I loved reading about different countries' mythology, Egyptian and Greek mythology especially how the Gods defeated the titans, Hercules' journey, Orpheus' tragic story, the myth of Hades and Persephone and so on. I loved, and still love, losing myself in such stories. I loved the way fantasy intertwined with reality, such an example of story being Homer's Iliad, where historical facts are fused with fantasy.

Later on, after this "phase" where everything that belonged to the realm of fantasy captivated my interest, I began to take interest in the human mind. The way it worked fascinated me. While reading the theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich and other psychoanalysts, I stumbled upon the word "metaphysics". From this point on, I began to take interest in reality. What is reality? How do I know that this is the real reality and not just a mere illusion of it? Is our world just a mimic of an ideal one1? Why it is that humans tend to alter reality? The incessant desire to understand reality as it is, made me choose the theme Reality vs Illusion. The Magus is a complex book, it took me a while to understand the novel, to distinguish the reality from Conchis's game. What later made it easier to make the difference between reality and illusion, was when I understood that I was looking at the facts from the protagonist's point of view, the fact that somehow I was sympathizing with him. The theme Reality vs Illusion for this novel, gives me the freedom to tackle this theme as I see it fit, the author giving to the reader free hand to interpret. That is my reasoning in choosing the current theme.

I. KEY CONCEPTS
I.1 Reality
Reality, more specifically, its meaning has been a subject of discussion and debate from centuries. From a philosophical perspective nowadays scientists have tried to explain reality with the help of quantum research.
From an etymological perspective according to the Online Etymology Dictionary the term reality in the 16th century meant "quality of being real" from the French realite, which derived from the Latin realis (adj. real). In 1640 the meaning changed from the "quality of being real" to "real existence, all that is real" and in 1680 the term gained the meaning of "the real state (of something)". Somewhere between the 17th and 18th century it gained also the meaning of "sincerity".

When talking about reality it is also necessary to clarify the term real. The word "real" according to the earliest written sources - in the eary14th century - meant "actually existing, true;" and later in the 15th century acquired the meaning of "relating to things" (especially property). In the 16th century it also had the meaning of "genuine" while in 1847 it had also the sense of "unaffected, no-nonsense". The word is derived from the French reel, from the Latin realis "actual", in Medieval Latin "belonging to the thing itself", from Latin res "matter, thing" of uncertain origin. What is inquisitor is the Latin res, according to Latindect res is the 20th letter from the Hebrew alphabet resh, the ancient picture of this letter being the head of a man, , which we could arguably say is related to our perception and what we perceive as real. The word resh also refers to a container, and boundaries while as previously said the Latin res refers to a thing. Philosophically speaking, we could say that things are the product of the human mind trying to identify the boundaries within what is elseways the world as a whole through a reductionist process.
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