Fantasy, Imagination and the Screen

Roger Scruton
University of Buckingham
There is a real distinction between fantasy and imagination, which corresponds in part to Coleridge's distinction between fancy and imagination. Fantasy seeks substitute objects for a real emotion: it therefore involves the 'realization' of its object in a perfect simulacrum. Imagination seeks unreal objects for unreal emotions, and therefore is thwarted by the presentation of a simulacrum. At the same time, the motive of imagination is to understand what is real, and to respond with emotional alertness to it. The cinema awakens and satisfies fantasy. But it has difficulty in giving full elaboration to an imaginative thought. Its principle is not reality but realization
Keywords Analytic Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/gps19831918
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