Do Dwarves still have a place in modern fantasy? - Page 3


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Thread: Do Dwarves still have a place in modern fantasy?

  1. #21
    I agree fantasy is a great place to address these issues, not least because it allows for an allegorical smokescreen, as you point out. C.S Lewis is probably the easiest example with his fantasy work being various rewrites of Christian theology. My WIP is also like this, though my focus is on issues of industrialization and colonialism rather than religion. But yes, the allegory is there. I actually can't think of many good fantasy that isn't some form of allegory or commentary on something 'real'.
    I do wonder at the actual value of fantasy, if its only utility lies in being an allegorical smokescreen. One wonders why the author that treats it as such didn't just go and write an essay. C.S. Lewis is a prime example of this--the most directly 'allegorical' bits in Chronicles tend to be the worst. As someone who has read both his fantasy and apologia extensively, I think the apologia is clearly superior. Unfortunately, in an 'allegorical' format, his apologia becomes muddled and bellicose, and his storytelling becomes extraordinarily dull.

    Note that at least Tolkien drew a strong distinction between fantasy and allegory. Allegory, being myth constructed from theory, and fantasy being the 'raw stuff' of story that an author implicitly constructs from his collective cultural consciousness.
    Nail it to the Cross

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    I do wonder at the actual value of fantasy, i
    70% royalties, to be exact.
    Never pet a burning dog.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    I do wonder at the actual value of fantasy, if its only utility lies in being an allegorical smokescreen. One wonders why the author that treats it as such didn't just go and write an essay. C.S. Lewis is a prime example of this--the most directly 'allegorical' bits in Chronicles tend to be the worst. As someone who has read both his fantasy and apologia extensively, I think the apologia is clearly superior. Unfortunately, in an 'allegorical' format, his apologia becomes muddled and bellicose, and his storytelling becomes extraordinarily dull.

    Note that at least Tolkien drew a strong distinction between fantasy and allegory. Allegory, being myth constructed from theory, and fantasy being the 'raw stuff' of story that an author implicitly constructs from his collective cultural consciousness.
    (1) Hardly anybody reads essays. Maybe you do, most people donít. Thereís a reason ďAnimal FarmĒ had a much bigger impact on peopleís understanding/misunderstanding of the pitfalls of Soviet communism than, say, some essay written by Joe McCarthy or Henry Kissinger.

    (2) Almost all of CS Lewisís plots and characters borrow some degree from his Christian apologia, it practically seeps from his pores, so I donít really get the idea that the proposition of it also being largely an allegorical smokescreen is a negative or any mark of ďlesser-nessĒ (unless you simply donít like him).

    (3) An allegory doesnít have to be clearly defined nor does it need to be dominant in the story. For instance, Tolkienís work in Rings can be interpreted as a commentary on all kinds of things, from Urban/rural conflicts to his Catholic beliefs. That doesnít make the book solely or even predominantly about any one thing, these are just ways readers can relate to the subject matter. I would say that is extremely vital in fantasy, otherwise itís meaningless.

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