Why love fantasy stories?
I have heard many times from people I know that they just don’t read fantasy and sometimes I wonder why not.
Perhaps to concentrate on matters at hand, the political arena, or science, or some form of ‘reality’. Perhaps a hesitation to release the imagination, fearful that some insane journey would take them far away from the here and now when their time is best utilized for matters at hand.
Those who know me know I am an advocate for the creative, for the far fetched. For lands and times beyond. I do not disguise my eagerness to day dream any more. Yes I was told at a young age it was wrong. But now I understand perfectly what C.S. Lewis meant when he said “someday you will be old enough to read fairy tales again.”
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ― Michael Scott, The Warlock
I appreciate the dedication to the gaining of knowledge. History, science, and other academics are certainly subjects we all should pursue.
But in the defense of science fiction and fantasy, I have to stand for the reality that seeps its way into fictional stories. Those golden nuggets that seal themselves into our soul and shape us into the people we are.
“Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end.” ― George R.R. Martin
Often there are truths hidden in a good piece of fictional literature that just cannot be told any other way. Ancient culture used spiritual truths in parables or fables which were meant to impart wisdom.
It wasn’t just about the story, but more about what the story told.
When I was little, we were always taught to ‘look for the moral of the story’ which may or may not be so obvious, which may prompt the reader to think beyond the words.
A fantasy tale, such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or Jordan’s Wheel of Time, or C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, leave heartfelt truths the reader can chew on and digest long after the book is set back on the shelf. I think that is why true science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts love the genre.
So much wealth to ponder!