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  • Classic fantasy and imagination

    Posted by cheshir on May 9, 2024 at 1:34 am

    My favorite thing to do when reading fantasy is to figure out which parts were inspired by real world cultures and mythology and which parts were exaggerations or additions for the purpose of the story. It’s very fun to go down a wiki spiral after coming across something familiar in a fantasy book that I’ve either seen done before similarly or recognized from some mythology book I had read back in middle school. If a world feature is unfamiliar yet completely fits inexplicably, I am just as fascinated and enchanted by the world and wish to read more.

    Some time ago, I wondered if I had a preference for either: a fantasy based strictly off of culture/past fantasy worlds, or a completely new world formed from the fragments of the writer’s imagination? There’s something about a familiar, faraway world that keeps me reading. We don’t have enough stories in these worlds, and one book per world is not enough. One series per world is not enough. I want to revisit these worlds that I will never get to see in my life. Thus, I do not mind when people use the same world rules or the same world customs to write their stories in. I even like it. What I’m looking for is a story, after all, not necessarily a whole new world.

    On the other hand, I love learning about new worlds. I love being able to figure out a world and try to fit in with the characters, to expect things that the inhabitants would also expect, and to feel the difference in culture. Sometimes I feel that a story doesn’t have to be all that interesting if the world is so grounded and fascinating. I feel genuinely appreciative when I come across something in a world that I had not thought of before, yet works perfectly in context.

    With that all said, I wonder, is classic fantasy still a playground of pure imagination? Or, because of the foundations it stands on, is a lot of imagination lost because of the expected rules and routes that fantasy has grown to have?

    cheshir replied 2 weeks, 5 days ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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