Learn all about fabulism, and how it can be used to explore a psychological struggle.
In the broadest definition, fabulism is a type of literary fiction that embeds magical elements into an otherwise realistic setting. However, it differs from science fiction and fantasy because the fantastic elements are simply part of an otherwise ordinary story. Fabulist novels also tend to focus on internal struggles and magical thinking.
In the past few years, I have had a particular interest in novels that use magical elements to symbolize or highlight a psychological struggle. In this manner fabulism can serve several purposes:
- The Objective Correlative: The magical elements can reflect emotions without directly telling us how a character feels at a crucial moment.
- Interest: Fabulism can provide a point of interest or distraction in a difficult story. Thereby keeping the reader’s attention through difficult scenes.
- Psychological Struggle: Magical elements can also be used to precipitate or directly reflect a psychological struggle in a character. In this case, the magical elements are usually only experienced by the character during their moments of struggle.
Books that Use Fabulism to Explore a Psychological Struggle
Here are six books that use fabulism to explore a psychological struggle. These books reflect a diversity of experiences and perspectives. It is definitely not an exhaustive list, so if I’m missing your favorite book, then share it in the comments section.
Each book is linked to a description that will hopefully entice you to try something new.