Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fantasy?

I always hated the fantasy genre and mainstream fanboy or babymen geek, nerd, comic book culture in general. My problems with the genre were varied: cardboard characters, escapism, manichean and predictable plots (1 - against everything and everybody the hero wants to right a few wrongs; 2 - the hero loses his fight against the villain; 3 - against all odds the hero rises from dire straits and finally wins; 4 - the end), absence of everyday situations, no sex, looney tunes violence, etc...

Flash forward to 2017, listen to George R. R. Martin's interviews on You Tube. What does he say? He thinks that good vs. evil is cardboard; that genre is just the furniture and what really interests him is creating complex characters (both good and evil are inside all of us; he quotes William Faulkner: "[...] the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat."); that sex and violence are part of life and shouldn't be bowdlerized (we must see the real consequences of violence; art is about emotions and we should feel bad when a character dies; George wants us to vicariously feel the whole emotional spectrum). Also, his plots are unpredictable because everyone is in danger and actually may die when less expected (one of the first reasons that made me hate genre fiction was, and I can't understand why people don't feel the same way, the fact that I stopped believing the hero was in any real danger: I KNEW that he would win at the very end - it's usually a "he," but I don't get all excited when they produce the same ol' shit with a heroine instead of a hero, as feminists do: if I listen one more phrase with the expression "strong women characters" in it somewhere I'm sure that I will throw up...).

OK, maybe I could go on, but it's enough already. I could surpass my visceral hate of everything that exists in fantasyland and read A Song of Ice and Fire, I guess... On the other hand, probably not... I will never read the saga because I'm sure that I'd rather read other things. This whole situation made me think though: maybe I didn't hate the fantasy genre, maybe what I really hated were mediocre and childish fantasy stories. Kind of like other people think about comics, right?, if you know what I mean...  

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