Es lassen sich Erzählungen ohne Zusammenhang, jedoch mit Association, wie Träume, denken; Gedichte, die bloss wohlklingend und voll schöner Worte sind, aber auch ohne allen Sinn und Zusammenhang, höchstens einzelne Strophen verständlich, wie Bruchstücke aus den verschiedenartigsten Dingen.
One can imagine stories without rational cohesion and yet filled with associations, like dreams; and poems that are merely lovely sounding, full of beautiful words, but also without rational sense and connections--with, at the most, individual verses which are intelligible, like fragments of the most varied things.
Dream-like it certainly is. Anodos (whose name means 'path upward' or 'ascent', but is also could be read, by a play on words, as 'pathless') after his twenty-first birthday finds himself in Faerie, where he seeks his ideal woman, the Marble Lady. He will have to unlearn his ideals in order to find what is really worth having. He is, like many Victorian gentlemen, inspired by a conception of chivalry, but he finds that this conception does not actually make him fit for genuine chivalry and knighthood. We forget that the word 'knight' literally just means 'servant'; the heart of it is the nobility not of birth but of service.
George MacDonald, Phantastes, Wm. B. Eerdmans Company (Grand Rapids, MI: 1997).