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The Fantastical

So on Saturday I was at work chatting amiably with my shift replacement when suddenly the world stopped moving and the universal heart skipped a few beats. Perhaps you noticed, it wasn't the sort of thing one misses.

It wasn't my fault really, I was, in all honesty, the innocent bystander that Fate chose to thrust into the center of this ghastly struggle. There I was casually placing my things back into my bag, mindlessly cheerful at my release form the ranks of the underpaid (at least for awhile) when the guy who was relieving me sighted my book.

"Ooh. What's that you're reading?" He asked.

"The Earthsea Trilogy. You read it?"

He shrugged, " Never heard of it."

"Oh, it's Fantasy. " I supplied as I finished stuffing the book away.

"Ah, the fake stuff." He mocked.

*cosmic heart skipping*
*sudden lurching sensation felt across the globe*
*Tolkien and Lewis roll over in their graves*
*Cannwin nearly passes out*

I smiled quickly and bustled out of the building trying to act natural. But how can any REAL person act natural to such a basic affront to all things imaginative!? Where was the man raise, Iran?

Fake stuff?

I'd sure like to tell Mr. Anti-imagination a few things about that "fake stuff." Like how some of the greatest writers of that "fake " genre used it as a means to cope with after-effects of he wartime atrocities they endured. How some of them greats used it to interpret and teach religious philosophy.

Fake stuff my foot. What was "A Christmas Carol," "Othello," "Beowulf," Fahrenheit 451?" Reality?

I'm starting to see a pattern here. My dear co-worker must be a devotee of John Steinbeck or... hmm, I'm flummoxed, who on Earth could possibly be as drearily realistic as Steinbeck?

The "reality" is that unless you're steering clear of fictional literature altogether (which I wouldn't put past this one) you're going to run into some imagination...some "fake stuff." That's the way it is because humanity is a breed of creator's, and to create one must believe in the impossible. It is in our makeup to imagine for without imagination no one would have reached for the starts.

In fact, I'm not entirely sure sticking to non-fiction can protect a person. Are not scientists and philosophers (followed, of course, closely by writers) the greatest of all imaginers? For they are forever seeking the unknown and seemingly unreachable.

Perhaps the "fake stuff" springs from those poor souls that believe there is no value in the fantastic. I imagine Christopher Columbus would disagree and I'm sure he wouldn't be alone.

Comments

Lisa said…
I wish I could live in that "Fake Stuff" world...

It's just more interesting and fun.
Cari Hislop said…
Esperity, I feel your pain, even though I haven't read "fantasy" fantasy for years. Just the other week I was thinking of old loves (ie past book-friends) and how I'd love to meet up with Frank Herbert's Dune series again or Peirs Anthony's Xanthe series.

All fiction is fantasy because if you tried to write reality no one would believe it because it is inevitably too weird and bizarre. As it should be.
cannwin said…
Yes and dreary. Real life is about half as exciting as the fictional stuff.

But Lisa, I don't think I'd want to live in most of those worlds, unless I got to choose who I was and when I was. I mean lets take Lord of the Rings for instance who would you be? I think Arwen is probably the least put upon character. I LOVE Eowyn, she's my favorite female character of any book I've ever read but I don't think I'd like to be in her shoes for anything.

I remember reading one of those online quizzes someone on Myspace had filled out and one of the questions was "who would you like to find at your window" and the girl put 'Edward Cullen'

I thought to myself, "hmm, only if he was in love with me. I'm not so sure I'd want a vampire at my window for any other reason."

I like fantasy cause it helps me escape but I have to really control myself when it comes to wanting to be in it. I'll leave that to those new dreams I've been having where I have magical powers that help me clean. hehehe

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