Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why Fantasy?

This Maxfield Parrish painting hung on the wall of my grandparent's living room. The walls must have been twelve feet high and they were covered in paintings and photos but this was the one that captured my imagination. As a small child I would stand under it, trying to see it clearly because a window was reflected in the covering glass. It was this emphemeral thing just out of reach, beautiful and mysterious.

Fantasy offers us a way into a world, without fast food outlets and petrol stations. Even if the fantasy world is gritty and realistic, the narrative will raise high moral questions and the characters will battle great odds for the greater good.

Every day, we're surrounded by grey moral questions and wrongs that a single person can't alleviate as much as they might wish to. In fantasy an average hobbit can make a difference.

There are days when we all need a little fantasy.

Cheers, R.

6 comments:

grudgeon said...

I guess that fantasy provides a platform where the writer can set up virtually any situation which allows the exploration pretty much any issue(s) without having preconceptions being applied by the reader. Although fantasy now comes with it's own set of preconceptions and rules I suppose.

John Lambshead said...

Dear Rowena

I agree completely. Most escapist literature is fantasy of some sort - look at the traditional English murder mystery.

Why would I want to read about real life? I am too busy living it.

John

Ori Pomerantz said...

John Lambshead: Why would I want to read about real life? I am too busy living it.

Ori: This implies that people who object to escapist literature probably don't have a life. That explains a lot ;-) .

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

LOL, Ori!

Dave Freer said...

:-) love the picture. And yes, escapism - especially escapism with characters we can relate to is a big deal

Pati Nagle said...

I love Maxfield Parrish. I have a bunch of prints of his work. I want to live in that world.