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A Study on the “Third-Degree Segregation” of Fantasy Literature: A Discussion with Zhao Yiheng

Fang Xiaoli

Taking “Segregation frame” as a key word, this paper aims to explore the characteristic of the segregation frame of fantasy literature. Different from the non-fantasy novel, fantasy novel has the third-degree segregation within the second-degree segregation, which segregates a fictional fantastic world from the fictional realistic world. This fictional fantastic world three times departs from the experience world. The frame of the third-degree segregation can be visible or invisible in the novel, which frames an independent fictional world with its own rules so that the readers have to apply a new metalanguage to interpret it. The fictional realistic world and the fictional fantastic world are independent from each other, but with interval connections when characters go from one world to the other so as to break the frame or violate the rules of their own world. Adopting the theory of segregation can help to explore the signification and interpretation of fantasy literature in a more profound way, and test and enrich this theory itself. This paper, therefore, wishes to start a dialogue with Professor Zhao on his theory of segregation.