The Problem with Fantasy

Fantasy literature holds a challenge for any reader.  Some people are able to cope and some are not.  From the start, fantasy builds hurdles the reader has to deal with for them to be able to immerse themselves in the story.  This makes fantasy unique within the realm of literary genres.  It is not beholden to any rules of this world. 

A fantasy world can be tantalizingly similar to our own, and yet hold wonders that confound the imagination.  How is the reader to accept this?  It requires a willingness on the reader’s part to loosen their grip on what is possible.  And yet at the same time, no such thing is necessary.  Fantasy offers something completely new to the reader.  It holds the great power of metaphor.  This becomes a conduit through which Truths of this world can be protrayed and explained.  Often the mysteries of our world cannot be put into focus easily…they’re hard to grasp and understand the depth of their importance.  With fantasy, the bounds of our perception are unlimited.  There, we can finally see. 

Few authors fully utilize this potential.  They do not realize the power that fantasy holds.  Here, the power of words is paramount.  Preconceptions, biases, and physical limitations are left behind. 

The problem with fantasy is that many people find it hard to make this adjustment.  In a sense it is comparable to being dropped in a foreign country.  It causes insecurity and doubt.  The fantasy novel requires the reader to be able to adapt, to leave the questions for a moment, to let the world and the story sweep you up. 


One thought on “The Problem with Fantasy

  1. Pingback: Meeting Tolkien « Wandering Paths

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