Nanowrimo. It purrs off the tongue with deceptive innocence, a catchphrase we can bandy lightlyat any passing non-initiate. We write for nanowrimo. We create words for nanowrimo. We are nanowrimers.
The reality keeps us awake and sobbing late into the night. So cool.
There’s a writing assignment for you in a bit, lest you think I’ve lost my anchor to reality. (Not sure how that’s supposed to reassure you…) Continue reading
I sat down intending to write about the environmental implications of genre fiction. Green fantasy, I was going to call it. Sort of like steampunk, maybe, just organic.
But as my thoughts gathered, I grew convinced that I couldn’t write that just yet. To me, environmentalism and sustainable living are linked to social justice. They’re ripples of the same eddy. We can’t justly explore the one without first more fully contemplating the other.
The Nazis, of all people, understood in their own twisted way the power of fantasy. They had an official policy on fairytales, erroneously believing them to be Aryan cultural relics (ironically, many European fairytales are Semitic in origin), capable of teaching Nazi propaganda.
I believe in the power of fantasy.
...some are more equal than others. (c) Ben Templesmith
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm as a conscious combination of political polemic and fairy tale. Whether we like it or not, to some extent all fantasy literature does the same. Fantasy speaks on behalf of the oppressed.
Concern for social justice fills the fantasy tradition. The process of sub-creating reorders the world into a framework we’re comfortable to explore. We challenge, criticize, and lament as we build a world, hoping that, as we speak words there, they will echo to resound in the world where we live.
J. K. Rowling demonstrates this on a startling scale. I doubt whether any informed reader can see the monument in Voldemort’s Ministry of Magic–a witch and wizard enthroned on the twisted corpses of non-magical races–without an ashamed twinge of recognition. It conjures memories of the past decade–the killing fields of Cambodia, the furnaces of Auschwitz, the graves of Bosnia.