You have found your way to the Blog for Fantasy at Glasgow, the hub for research on fantasy and the fantastic at the University of Glasgow. Why is it called The City of Lost Books? The title comes from a lost book about the Plain of a Thousand Cities, concerning which I may have more to say elsewhere. But it’s also named in recognition that fantasy books have been lost to the curriculum since the days when the fantastic got a bad name – somewhere around the time when Plato banished poets from his ideal Republic. Fantasy fiction has existed in an alternative dimension, a hidden library, for much of its existence; and the question of how long it has existed is as vexed as any question about a past that has not yet discovered how to write itself. All we know for sure is that the hidden library has grown to gigantic dimensions, larger even than the secret library in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. It’s more of a city, now. And it’s time to go in and see what books we can recover from it.

Rob Maslen
Convener, MLitt English Literature: Fantasy
University of Glasgow

10 thoughts on “About”

  1. Glad to have found your blog and looking forward to exploring your posts. Your point about how fantasy has been looked down on for so long is well made — I suppose the utilitarian philosophy has always held sway by arguing that the requirements of the body must take precedence over the life of the imagination, despite much evidence to the contrary.

    1. Thanks Chris! And I really like the look of yours – I look forward to wandering through its calm groves in my quiet moments!

  2. Can’t think how I found your web site – I was researching Sylvia Townsend Warner for my MA but I have bookmarked it for the future.

  3. A great enterprise – as a lifelong sharer of fantasy with the convener, I am delighted at its success. The authors you explore are all favorites, and I am myself exploring some of Nicola Barker’s work, kind of -on-the-edge of fantasy. Wonderful, Rob!

  4. Fabulous post about Peake, Rob, and your ‘synchronicity’ in finding the painting by Leslie Hurry. I was especially taken by Peake’s reflections on the gift of tradition and how to speak within it as an individual.

    1. Thanks a lot Laura! Yes, his introduction to The Drawings of Mervyn Peake is a really important resource and it’s a shame it’s not more readily available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *