Saturday, 3 September 2016
Serious Issues In Fantastic Fiction
Three Hearts... is a fantasy novel about a man who is transported to another world where he is already a hero. He is advised by a witch and guided by a dwarf, fights a dragon and outwits a giant. This could have been a children's story and some adults might regard it as such. However, such ideas can also be the subject matter of fantasies addressed to adults. And, whether it is juvenile or adult, fantasy can address the same issues as realistic fiction.
Any narrative about human beings - and about supposed supernatural beings - can address the nature of reality and morality. If there are parallel universes, should the force that unites them be called "God"? Fantasy often features a cosmic conflict between Good and Evil. In Three Hearts..., these principles are called Law and Chaos. Expressed in these latter terms, which principle did the Nazis represent? Such issues are far removed from witches, dwarves, dragons and giants. Yet a narrative about such mythical beings can powerfully address these issues.