Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Into the woods - The Boston Globe

Here's an interesting take on the popularity of English fantasy fiction in America today. He doesn't mention Harry Potter or His Dark Materials--interesting and perhaps telling omissions--but it's an pretty good piece nonetheless. The idea that fantasy is somehow purely escapist is one of the most pervasive and wrong-headed myths I know about the genre.

Click the link to read the whole piece, or just check out the last paragraph here.

Into the woods - The Boston Globe: "Who can ignore the merry foreground, the delirium of distraction, that currently prevails in American life-in a country at war, under threat of terror, with an impending energy crisis and a scandalous political culture? One senses that unknown dangers are preparing to assert themselves, and the closer they get, the dreamier everyday life begins to feel. This sensation is the hallmark of the English fantasists: Evil encroaches on the Shire, hallucinated blood spreads across a field at the Sandleford warren. The consolations of fantasy exist only in relation to its special terrors, and if we choose to seek these consolations and terrors in the archetypal darkness of the movie theater, or in the ancient privacy of a book, might we not be closer there to the truth than in the land of make-believe that awaits us outside on the street, or when we put the book down?"

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