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On Fantastic Stories - Part 2: Escape

Fantasy has long been associated with escapism - perhaps more than any other genre in entertainment. I actually have a quote from Tolkien in the side-bar of my blog about the element of "escape" (sorry it is so's just so good!):

"I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it."
Tolkien has a valid point, but since the time that he wrote, our culture has embraced escapism like never before. From binge-watching to LARPing, escaping the ordinary world is now over-valued, and with it goes the acceptance of over-exaggerated p…

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