The Terror of Fantasy Fiction
Readers say that they find my fear of fantasy genre to be curious, so I will dedicate a separate post to it with the hope of analyzing why I dread the genre so much.
There is a number of genres that I can’t stand. Harlequin romance, for example. Or sci-fi. Still, I can read them if I have to. As for the fantasy literature, however, I’d rather read a phone book than a fantasy novel.
One reason is that, in my opinion, the founder of the genre (Tolkien) already did all that could be done with it. The guy was an obvious genius, so everything coming after him is likely to be inferior.
I also don’t really see the point of fantasy. The entire genre is a huge cop-out, in my opinion. If you have no idea how to resolve a plot line or explain something that is happening, just stick some Little People (this is a reference to Murakami’s 1Q84), and there is no need to resolve and explain. It’s the Little People, you know. They are magical and can do whatever they please.
You know these mysteries by Agatha Christie where supernatural or magical things seem to be happening? The best moment in these novels is when you realize that there is a perfectly rational, real explanation to what took place. It’s one thing to figure out who the murderer is within a small group of people locked in a library. It would be a complete let-down, though, if Poirot announced at the end, “The murder was committed by magical creatures who came through the chimney!”
I understand that fantasy novels have some sort of an internal logic at least some of the time. What is the payout to figuring this logic out, though? Even if it exists, it will be completely different for other novels by other writers.
This, of course, is not meant as a criticism of people who read this kind of books and enjoy them. I’m just sharing my feelings about fantasy in hopes of starting a discussion.
As Borges said, though, nobody knows what God’s literary preferences are.