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The Art of Phantasm where the supernatural is accepted as the main topic has a long tradition. Nevertheless, traditionally the content had a strong religious background.


Painting of the Dutch artist Hieronymus_Bosch (1450-1516) or Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525-1569) has influenced even the modern genre of Surrealism.


In fictional literature the topic of the supernatural is quite young. The German Phantastische Literatur has probably the oldest known roots. When the Brothers Grimm (1785-1863, 1786-1859) collected folk stories and published them as literature authors began to take interest in old myths and legends for their own fictional work. Authors like E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) or Franz Kafka (1883-1924) are popular until today. A library devoted to the genre is the Phantastische Bibliothek Wetzlar. (German: Eingang)

The French genre of literature called Fantastique is a substantial genre of French Literature having its own traditions. Arguably dating back further than English Fantasy, it remains an active and productive genre which has evolved in conjunction with anglophone fantasy and horror and other French and international literature.

In English literature American and British authors started indepentendly to write fiction centered at the supernatural. In American literature authors like Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) or H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) are the most influential writers of the 20th Century. Actually, the genre of Fantasy as an independent genre of literature was spawned in England at the 1920s.

Literature dealing with the supernatural has become quite popular and can be divided into several genres:

Fantasy A fictional story is placed in a mythical setting. The plot is set at ancient times of myth and legend.

Mystic A fictional story which deals with magic and sorcery. The plot may play in any time. Very often the story takes place in our times.
Horror A fictional story which wants to intimidate the reader by supernatural events.
Science Fiction A fictional story which often plays in future times. The storyline exploits new (fictional) scientific discoveries and technical inventions. Very often the set is placed into outer space.

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