The uses of the supernatural in the works of Lord Dunsany and James Stephens
This study has its genesis in the letters written between Lord Dunsany and James Stephens between 1909 and 1912. The letters reveal interest in each other's work and contrasting ways in which each employed supernatural characters, events, and situations. Dunsany, in his Nemesis plays, portrays a legendary world in which mysterious gods return to cities to exact vengeance. Stephens, in The Crock of Gold and The Demi-Gods, represents a pastoral Ireland to which gods return to forge a new union with humans. Dunsany writes of a similar happy return of a gods in The Blessing of Pan. This study compares and contrasts various critical attitudes towards the marvelous in fictional representations, and in the different expressions of laughter in the works.