Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

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~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Fantasy

FANTASY designates a conscious breaking free from reality. It applies to a work that takes place in a nonexistent and unreal world such as a fairyland, or concerns incredible and unreal characters, or relies on scientific principles not yet discovered or contrary to present experience, as in some science fiction or utopian fiction. FANTASY may be employed merely for whimsical delight or it may be the medium for serious comment on reality.

FANTASY is not my genre, but oh how I loved The Hobbit, one of my favorite books ever. Why is that, fantasy readers? Why would someone who can't stand to get past one chapter of a fantasy book (I only read Harry Potter to see what all the fuss was about),  have The Hobbit as one of her favorites? I don't know the answer to that.

(This post has been inspired by and in some instances, directly quoted from A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition, by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman)

41 comments:

  1. I really enjoy reading fantasy though I haven't read "The Hobbit" or anything like it really- I tend to walk on the side of witcghes, carpathian vampires, and romantic fantasies. :)

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  2. I've been reading more fantasy the last few years but I think that is because there is so much out there that is well written where the writer creates a world where I as the reader want to spend time in.

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  3. I think you just fell in love with Frido, who wouldn't?

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  4. Fanstasy is one of our favorite ways to get away from real life, sometimes it helps reality not suck so much !
    LOL
    JL&B

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  5. Fantasy is such a broad term. I love to watch Star Trek movies - any Star Trek movies and most other good science fiction, but I will never write a sci-fi novel. Why? It's not my thing. Sounds goofy after what I just told you, I know. It's the same thing.

    I do write fantasy, but my fantasy reads more like historical fiction with magical elements - that's my comfort zone - for whatever reason.

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  6. I'm not good with the fantasy that has the made up languages and difficult to pronounce names in it, but I love magic and mythical creatures and otherworldly settings.

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  7. the only fantasy books i've enjoyed are The Chronicles of Narnia. i didn't really enjoy the Lord of the Rings books, but did enjoy the movie. i'm odd - i'm a fantasy writer but not a fantasy reader so much.

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  8. I wrote about fantasy today too, LOL!

    For me, it's a total break from reality to explore new worlds and beings. It lets my imagination run rampant. ;)

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  9. I don't read fantasy (I was put off as a child when my mother insisted on reading Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass to me), unless it's a short story. I'm not sure why, but my brain seems to accept that weird things happen in short stories.

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  10. It's cos you're unique and lovely!! :-) Take care
    x

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  11. As a fantasy author, I really enjoy the opportunity to weave an entire reality out of themes we see around us. It's a treat to be able to tell a story where the land itself has a tale to tell - and one that mirrors our own lives.

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  12. I guess we all visit fantasy-land every night in our dreams, which can be appealing, scary or just odd. Some types of fictional fantasy strike a chord with us and some don't, e.g. I loved Alice In Wonderland, the book, but the recent film left me cold (despite the presence of Johnny Depp!!). I put it down to there being an interpretation on the wierdness, that wasn't my own ...
    Thanks for the Fantasy post
    All best
    Karla

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  13. I love to read fantasy! I even write a bit of fantasy, although it's not what I'm working on right now. I can be a bit picky about what fantasy I do read, though.

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  14. I don't read fantasy either, unless you count Harry Potter. For me, sometimes I get bored with the details of a fantastical world when I'm reading, but I definitely appreciate the genre for what it is (I guess I just prefer the terrible, depressing reality of things. Oy)

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  15. I love fantasy. I love reading it and writing it. And there is something amazing about The Hobbit that makes so many people love it. :D

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  16. When people talk about fantasy they usually mean the dungeons and dragons and hobbit type of fantasy. I don't like those worlds. They're scary and so i rarely read books from the Fantasy genre.

    But there is another sort of fantasy, the sort of fantasy that you can create when you go on a walk in a beautiful place during a meditation.

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  17. I used to read a lot of science fiction fantasy when I was in my 20' and 30's. I loved the creation of other worlds. Or the delving into characters' minds. Don't read it at all now...I don't have an answer to that either.

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  18. I'm the same. Not really inspired by fantasy but loved The Hobbit.
    Science fiction, on the other hand - hard sf at least - stills hold my attention because it just might be possible. Such speculation I find irresistible.

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  19. All depends on the writer. Heck, I write light urban fantasy, and there's a lot of fantasy I don't read. ;)

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  20. The Hobbit is just a good, solid story!

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  21. It's because Tolkien is one of the greatest storytellers ever. Have you not read The Lord of the Rings?

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  22. Fantasy isn't my genre either, but there have been a few I have loved as well. I think Alex is right. It's just a good, solid story with great characters that you care about.
    Karen

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  23. I loved the Hobbit, too, when I was a kid. I haven't read it as an adult, so I'm not sure how well it would hold up. I love Harry Potter! It's amazing to see how much JK Rowling grows as an author through the series.

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  24. try Ursula LeGuin, either A Wizard of Earthsea or The Left Hand of Darkness. It's more than just fantasy.

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  25. That is funny! (I haven't read any Harry Potter books) But I do love The Hobbit. :-)

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  26. Fantasy's not my favourite genre either but well-written fantasy such a Roland Yeoman's Bear with Two Shadows, plus of course LOTR are great, but the fantasy novel I've most enjoyed is The Magus by Jonothan Fowles.

    Denise<3

    L'Aussies Travel Blog A - Z Challenge Posts

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  27. I write modern/contemporary fantasy, which doesn't really fit the definition above. Much of it is set in a world that's very much like our own, but with a few twists or extra layers.

    If you liked The Hobbit so much, you might enjoy rural fantasy. There's a great article by Mark Charan Newton about it: http://markcnewton.com/2010/05/25/rural-fantasy/

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  28. I have recent;y grown to love poetry, something I never would have admitted to in the past :) It has been because I have been seeing the value in it and understanding it. Fantasy has always been my genre so of course you love the hobbit :)

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  29. I checked out your book and it is one I'll definitely want to read. Thanks for letting me know! I'm always on the lookout, you know! :-)

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  30. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  31. I won't hold it against you that you like The Hobbit over HP. Much. I'll read all sort of genres, but I mostly write fantasy.

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  32. Karen,
    Thanks for visiting my site and enjoying my fragrant flowers :)
    I'm like you, it is not in me to be a fantasy writer. Perhaps because I tend to be more 'real-life'...regardless, it's the only Fantasy I saw for the letter F :)

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  33. I think there's something in every genre that can appeal to us even if it's not our usual genre - some story that just strikes us the right way. :)

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  34. In my opinion, Tolkien both defines and transcends the fantasy genre. It is almost impossible for anybody to craft a fantasy novel post-LOTR without it being held up to the yardstick of Middle Earth: an improbably detailed imaginary world, to the extent that Tolkien was able to write about it in dry academic detail - treatises on its history, its geography, its language, its art, its politics - and incorporate those into a story about very familiar characters engaged in extraordinary acts.

    I'm not saying this IS the reason you'd like it, but "The Hobbit" isn't really written as fantasy; it's written as fiction from the viewpoint of somebody for whom Middle Earth is as real as our own to us.

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  35. I just started reading dystopian books...and OMGoodness I really like that genre. It's not something I would ever write, but I'm sure enjoying reading them.

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  36. I enjoy fantasy... but if I'm in the mood for "that" type of book, I'm more likely to pick a science fiction type book over fantasy.

    I enjoyed the Hobbit. I'm going to read it again, before the movie comes out.

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  37. I am one of the rare few who have never read Harry Potter, nor seen the films.

    I guess it's just not my thing. Fantasy is a genre I normally avoid..I may be missing some wonderful reading but i just can't get into it.

    Perhaps I'm too cynical or something. I've never thought about reading The Hobbit, perhaps I'll take a look.
    I'm already following your site from the A-Z, just checking in and enjoying another days post.

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  38. Must admit I'm not a massive fan of the genre, but I have read a few that I loved -- The Hobbit being one!

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  39. I agree with the others - it's cos The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are above and beyond labelling as simply fantasy. Mainly because I'm with you! While I love Tolkien's work, I'm not much of a fantasy reader. Though I don't mind bits and pieces of fantasy elements in other stories, like Cecilia Ahern's fairy tale like romances. I even had a few fantasy elements in my MG.

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  40. I don't know the answer to your questions I'm afraid Karen! Because The Hobbit is so well written?

    I'm of the opinion that every book is fantasy : some are just set in a made-up world that more closely resembles the "real" one.

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