The Dream-Frame in Gautier's Contes fantastiques

For Théophile Gautier, the conte fantastique is a narrative that is conscious of itself as a work of art. The technique used by Gautier to develop this concept is to frame his stories narratively in dreams. There is an inner story, relating what has been dreamt, and an outer story, emphasizing the very fact of the dream and underlining the nature of its process. This essay, using the criteria of the major theoreticians of the fantastique, assesses the contributions made by Gautier to the genre. (JGL)

Lowin, Joseph G.
Volume 1980-1981 Fall-Winter; 9(1-2): 28-36.