Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Once Upon A Time, Merlin, and The Joy of Fantasy

I’ve been busy this week, catching up on Once Upon a Time and Merlin (I just started season 3 last night—I saw the first episode less than two weeks ago and it’s occupied my free time ever since). In addition to the usual psychology lectures and class essays, my thoughts have been overtaken with all things fantasy. So I guess you could say I had no choice but to post about it.
There's just something about epic fantasy stories that become addicting- even when you already know the ending! I mean, we all know the classic fairy tales Once Upon a Time is based on, but we get sucked in anyway. And the legend of King Arthur has been told so many times in so many ways, but it hasn't lost it's strength. Is that the secret of fantasy, it's timeless?
For some reason, fantasy has become a bit of a derogatory term in the literary world. People have come to associate it with children’s literature, assuming adults are too grown up for it. Well, because fantasy is escapism, hope, and adventure... no one is too grown up for it! Other people have come to believe they are cheesy, predicable, and take little talent to write. Anyone who says a fantasy book can’t be literary hasn’t read Tolkien (or anything fantastical beyond children’s bedtime stories). Tolkien himself summed it up very well with his quote: “However wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the 'turn' comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality." As with any genre, you have fantastic fantasy authors, and a few who must have bribed their editors to publish them.
What are some of your favorite fantasy books? What is it about fantasy that makes it so appealing?

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