Jul. 29th, 2011

What does it mean to want magic so much it hurts? Can you write an escapist novel about escapism? Do you really have to grow up, and what does that mean, anyway? Can you deconstruct wonder and have it mean anything when you face its loss?

That's the sort of thing Lev Grossman's 'The Magicians' tries to take on. It seems a lot of fantasy readers have extremely touchy reactions to the book, which shouldn't have surprised me, but did. As someone quite used to dark fantasy, to piling on the angst in my fics, and to generally seeing how far I can deconstruct everything I love, it startles me to remember this is kind of a limited-appeal hobby even in fandom. It startles me to realize people mean escape when they say escape. This is the one way I truly differ from the hero of Grossman's book and from these genre fans: they read fantasy to be happy in a completely straightforward, uncomplicated way, the way you take a shower 'cause it feels good.
    etc )

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the one who stumbled

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