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Monday, November 12, 2007

Fantasy Don't Get No Respect

What is it about fantasy (art or writing,) that most people find unacceptable or even childish, particularly in our currently Harry Potter obsessed world? Even science fiction gets a better rap (if only slightly.) The way I see it, if I want to see or hear about the "real," I'll look out my window or go to some kind of meeting. What makes a painting of a heron art, when a painting of a dragon is "not art" (according to the "powers that be.") Is it that we can gauge the heron's likeness against the real thing, where we can't do that with a dragon? Personally I prefer fantasy (& sci-fi,) because they involve things I'll never see in "real" life. To me they involve far more imagination, but perhaps that's the root of the problem. "Imagination" is not something we seem to encourage in our society. It's a subversive activity reduced to mere "daydreaming" by those too afraid to enter the darker recesses of their own minds.
My husband writes horror and fantasy, and he writes well. For some reason, however, whenever either of us talk about what we do, we inadvertantly come up against the same old, close-minded sheeple who assume that what we do is "for kids." A few people appreciate what we do, certainly, but the vast majority seem to shrug it off as meaningless. My favorite painter & a respected master, John William Waterhouse, primarily dealt with mythological themes. Were his works "meaningless?" Was "Lord of the Rings" meaningless? Is Frank Frazetta's work "meaningless?" If so, one can only notice that "meaningless" works can actually be highly respeted & profitable. The problem is finding those all too few outlets willing to promote imagination.

(Update; the heron painting sold, Feb. 2008.)

3 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I like your heron painting a lot, but as you say, we can see herons and other such birds when we get out in the country, when we walk at the Flatlands, or even around the house. So much more powerful to me are the images that I've never seen. It's much more of a direct view into another human's mind because it is solely from within the mind that it arises. I think you're right on the imagination lack.

I like being called your husband, btw. :)

Tecla said...

You write very well.

Lana Gramlich said...

tecla; Thank you. :)

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