Eskapism

16 Maj

Jag tenderar att bli defensiv när folk pratar om våra genrer som eskapism – och Ursula K LeGuin och J R R Tolkien är mycket bättre på att formulera både vilken attityd det är jag inte gillar, och hur positivt och nödvändigt eskapism faktiskt är.

The oldest argument against SF is both the shallowest and the profoundest: the assertion that SF, like all fantasy, is escapist. This statement is shallow when made by the shallow. […] Yes, [Tolkien] said, fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? The moneylenders, the knownothings, the authoritarians have us all in prison; if we value the freedom of the mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can.

Ursula K LeGuin i The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Och Tolkiens originalcitat, ur essän On Fairy-Stories:

Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape in this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and, what is more, they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter. Just so a Party-spokesman might have labelled departure from the misery of the Führer’s or any other Reich and even criticism of it as treachery.

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