Saturday, 10 December 2016
The Value Of Fantasy
"A telephone? I have heard of such things. I do not believe such an object is to be found in this inn, nor that it could summon any assistance for your friend if it was.
"I am, however, a chirurgeon of no mean skill."
-Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Worlds' End (New York, 1994), p. 24.
Only then do we see his quadrupedal lower body. This is the centaur, Chiron. Similar scenes occur in Poul Anderson's works. Why is it valuable to read this? Because we do in fact coexist with beings who have very different worldviews - each other. Some of my friends and acquaintances accept as literally true narratives that I regard as mythological - just as Chiron is mythological. We inhabit very different conceptual universes.