, , ,

From “About the Author” section of the translated selection of short stories by Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud entitled A Life on Paper: Stories:

“… Chateaureynaud is a founding member of the contemporary movement La Nouvelle Fiction: “New” because it rose up against the prevailingly minimalist and confessional tendencies (autofiction) of recent French writing, seeking to rouse it from what critic Jean-Luv Moreau called “the slumber of psychological realism,” and to restore myth, fable, and fairy tale to a place of primacy in fiction.”

What interests me most, and excites me tremendously!, is the part about restoring “myth … and fairy tale to a place of primacy in fiction.” Which is exactly what we need to do. Sadly, there is a tendency in many circles of our society to demean or belittle fantasy. For many, the fantastic is unacceptable: it is childish (that something for children should be seen as unimportant says quite a bit about these people, if you ask me), nonsense, trivial, and lazy. Fantasy is simply unimportant, child’s play. And is therefore dismissed.

But fantasy is important. Very important to our being human, to our growth as individuals and as a people, to our ability to create and innovate, to learn… actually, fantasy is an integral part of our ability to discover science “fact.”

Never mind that writing fantasy is a whole heck of a lot more work than writing “non-genre” stories: the author has to create worlds and inhabit it, and create the histories of that world and all its people, and more. Non-fantasy writers simply use everything that’s already around them, they don’t create whole new worlds.

This is a topic that Ursula K. Le Guin has written on, beautifully, passionately, and in depth. And I’d like to take up the dialogue. Because I feel it is of vital importance to human culture and human survival. … and through extension the survival of many entities on the planet.

So, I shall come back to this topic later. I am on a short time schedule at the moment, but I wanted to introduce this topic as it has been tumbling about my head for the past year, and it is about time I started to discuss it.