Monday, October 24, 2005


The fabulous Jon Carroll admits he's not much of a fantasy reader, but he's reading Django Wexler's Memories Of Empire, and points out what big fantasies as a class tell us about our culture. You often hear about the dumbing down of American culture and art, but if you look at big fantasies like Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, comics like Watchmen and Sandman and multi-layered TV shows like Buffy, Veronica Mars, and Lost, what they have in common is that they are dense with stories, characters, subplots, worldbuilding. They are popular because they're complex. Now, the given complexity might not be your cup of tea--high fantasy isn't mine, though I do make exceptions--but the fact that people are hot for the complex is encouraging, no?


Blogger C. F. Blog said...

Yes, complex is good.

BTW-Did you hear that Anne Rice is no longer writing about the so-called Occult Fiction? She has gone back to her Roman Catholic beliefs and is writing about the life of Christ.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Jonquil said...

My husband spent an hour unpacking on Saturday and managed to uncover our set of Sandman. The children dove into them with glee, even though warned about Kafka dreams.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Sarcasm Girl has read Death: The High Price of Living, and actually spent one Halloween as Gaiman's Death (she was adorable). But after a pass at the first issue or two of Sandman, the child said, "Not quite ready yet." I keep thinking I should turn her on to Watchmen (about which Entertainment Weekly had a multi-page feature this week!) but there are a couple of things which might be a bit harrowing for her.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous L.N. Hammer said...

One thing I notice: the majority of the fantasies Carroll mentions are published as Young Adult novels.


8:22 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Yeah, I noticed that too. But I think the principle extends to non-YA fantasy too.

9:03 AM  

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