He listed some great points about why he thinks fantasy is legit, and it made me think about why I enjoy it so much too.
Brandon's reasons for writing/reading fantasy:
- to explore other worlds, while at the same time learning about our own
- to warn and to teach, to ponder the "what ifs" both negative and positive
- to focus on humanity. It's like an experiment where you change up all the variables in life, but the human characters remain the same, and are the control group. Thus, we come to understand ourselves better.
- to simply enjoy the story itself. It's like mythology for our time. He told about when people were trying to figure out what Tolkien meant to say with Lord of the Rings. Was it about WWII? Was it symbolic for the atomic bomb? Tolkien always responded with a resounding NO. It's JUST A STORY!
- to inspire and to imagine. Reading fantasy is like doing crunches for the imagination! He reminded us of an Einstein quote (one of my favorites), "Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the whole world, and all we will ever know and understand." It doesn't have to be real for us to learn and gain something from it.
Great reasons, yes?
My reasons for reading (and loving) fantasy:
- sweeping involved detailed and imaginative stories
- extremely well defined characters
- new worlds (language, races, cultures, religions, politics) to explore
- it's just plain fun! Of course it is!
Okay, so my reasons aren't quite as meaty, but still. As Brandon Sanderson also said, there's those that get it and those that don't. I'm happy to be on the "get it" side. And oh man, there's so much of it I haven't read. It's overwhelming!
Where do you fall in this debate? Do you get the fantasy thing? Perhaps you are still not sure about it? Or maybe you won't even go near it? I'd love to know your feelings on fantasy!