Friday, September 30, 2011

The color of fantasy

I found this quote by George R.R. Martin the other day and really loved it:

"The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as
dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic
moment before we wake.

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. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a
parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient
stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of
Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller
when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong
spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in
fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that
one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow
hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of
They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle
Earth. "

— George R.R. Martin

This expresses well why I love Fantasy so much and (I believe) the thing that non-fantasy readers don't understand. The biggest thing I hear them say is that "Fantasy is just a bunch of make believe. It's not real."

No. It's not real. And that's why I love it. It's not how the world is, it's how it should be. How it could be. Not necessarily the dragons and elves (though that would be cool). It's the courage and the love and the chance for anyone to make a difference. Those are the things that should be. Just because theses stories have wizards and magic doesn't make their meaning any less important.

Like G.K. Chesterton said:

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons
exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Hope you all have a happy Friday and a great weekend!

Picture from SXC.

No comments:

Post a Comment