Old words for old worlds

On the use of the past to explain the present

Tag: King Arthur

My plea for philological Fantasy

I have to admit that in recent weeks, thanks in part to a discussion with a fellow Fantasy enthusiast, aspiring author and blogger, my view of my view of Fantasy has somewhat evolved. I have always been careful not to needlessly disregard the various incarnations of the genre that I dislike. However, after starting to understand better what I want, need and wish for, I find it increasingly difficult not to criticize. There is this criterion by which I judge the genre that I cannot let go. It is part of what I am. It was what moves me. It represents everything I believe Fantasy should stand for. Its very soul, I say. I cannot ignore its neglect in any form any longer, for better or worse. I would say the worse, as nobody is making friends by being judgmental.

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The fantasy of history in the history of fantasy

Everything I have written so far on this blog adds up to the suggestion that Fantasy is not really defined by elves, dragons or magic, but rather by the use of the ancient past as a vehicle for stories. At this point, however, it should be quite obvious that a further qualification is needed: if the past matters so much, then what is the difference between Fantasy and History? Are they any different? Of course they are. But in my view, a simple scale opposing fact to myth is a gross and insufficient measure of their demarcation.

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