The article is devoted to the semantics of the portal image as an important component of fantasy and horror literature. The text focuses on the features of the representation of this artistic constant at the chronotype level, its changes resulting from the literary tradition and the author's individual intentions.
The functions of the portal image in the artistic system of horror literary works were determined by the expression of space-time shifts and deformations in the artistic models of the world present in selected works and the combination of "real" and "unreal" chronotypes. In the article, particular attention is paid to the analysis of the organization of space-time characteristics of the author's images of the world, their correlation with the leading methods of psychological perception of extra-textual reality (top - bottom, mine - foreign). The portal's visions from selected works are presented in juxtaposition with the literary ideas of Stanisław Lem, preserved in the image of the planet Solaris.
Because the functional component of the lead images is correlated with the portal constant, their integrity can be stated as determinants of genres such as: dark fantasy, horror and science fiction. The article is supplemented by a concise bibliography of thematic critical literary texts and source materials.
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