CHAT: fantasy (was: Re: history of conlanging)
|From:||Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 22, 1999, 19:43|
Patrick Dunn wrote:
>I, as a child, used to make up artificial languages all the time, but
>never really got off on Tolkein (as much as I love fantasy), so don't
>think I was influenced by him.
Funny, my tastes are the opposite: I love Tolkien, but detest most
other fantasy literature - with the exception of LeGuin's "Earthsea"
books, and Susan Cooper's "Dark Is Rising" series, which I adore,
and maybe a couple others.
I guess the deal is that I like fantasy stories best when the 'supernatural'
motifs (magic and monsters) are used extremely sparingly. That's
what's so great about the Lord of the Rings for me - there's very little
"magic" in the book, in the sense of actions which blatantly defy natural
laws, and what few examples there are are imbued with a proper sense
of wonder and danger (e.g. the mirror of Galadriel, the palantiri), and are
generally grounded in consistent metaphysical laws even when they defy
physical laws (e.g. the invisibility and special sight conferred by
the Ring). There are a few exceptions (e.g. Gandalf lighting fires with
his staff) but these are minor. In general, magic is treated as something
exceedingly rare and wonderful - more a matter of wisdom than of
inherent 'super powers'.