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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of the mode.

Fantasy is reality. Aristotle says that music is the most realistic of the arts because it represents the movements of the soul directly. Surely the mode of fantasy (which includes many genres and effects) is the only way in which some realities can be treated.

I grew up in United States in the 1950s, in a world in which fantasy was supposed to be the opposite of reality. “Rational,” “mature” people were concerned only with a narrowly defined “reality” and only the “immature” or the “neurotic” (all-purpose put-downs) had any truck with fantasy, which was then considered to be wishful thinking, escapism, and other bad things, attractive only to the weak and damaged. Only Communists, feminists, homosexuals and other deviants were unsatisfied with Things As They Were at the time and Heaven help you if you were one of those.

I took to fantasy like a duckling to water. Unfortunately for me, there was nobody around then to tell me that fantasy was the most realistic of arts, expressing as it does the contents of the human soul directly.

Joanna Russ

—posted 211 days ago


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