Thursday, January 19, 2012
Writing Fantasy, Tim Tebow and the Cult of Winning
Consider Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS. The tale of Frodo and his friends is essentially an internal journey manifested externally in the form of elves and Mordor and new kingdoms. Tolkien was creating myth, and all myths, all great tales, provide guidance for our interaction with a shifting and often tragic existence. The world makes no sense, and help is needed to navigate the journey. There’s a reason that many people, especially young people, who read fantasy or science fiction are categorized as “geeks.” They are outsiders in school or in their homes. They feel shunned. Different. For whatever reason, they do not fit with the people around them. For them, fantasy provides a bridge to navigating this world while looking through the lens of another.
We are a culture obsessed with winners. Fantasy is a genre obsessed with participants. We are a culture that teaches success at all costs. Fantasy reminds us that success is not found in the ending, but in the story itself.