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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fantasy, alternative reality...

What is it about the present day that people seem to hate so much? We've got antibiotics, we've got mobile phones, we've got central heating, we've got Tesco - but today I've had five letters from new students or prospective students who are all writing or who want to write fantasy.

I don't write fantasy myself, but I must admit I love to read it. Or perhaps I should say I love to read alternative reality - I'm currently working my way through the Twilight series, and I'm a huge Harry Potter fan!

But I also enjoy a story which tells me something about real life, and which suggests how I could live my own life more profitably or successfully. I don't actually need to read about vampires, elves, werewolves and trolls.

When we escape into fantasy worlds, are we taking a welcome break from reality, or are we actually running away from real life?

1 comment:

  1. Our lives, in the 'first world' at least, are more complex today than ever. The simplicity of most fantasy is what I enjoy. Good v Evil with no complications. The story can be complex with characters changing sides but the theme still seems very simple compared with modern worries. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams is a four book sprawling classic but but remains an escape from everyday problems. So, yes. I guess we're running away. However, I thought that was one reason for all literature.
    As to 'learning about real life'. Fantasy does that too. Love, honour, courage, friendship are the same in Middle Earth as here, just simplified and therefore, easier to take on board.
    So, with fantasy, you get the best of both worlds. (Sorry about that)