Day Eight {Genre}

Mm...cheatin'. Day Eight really concerns a video about books or writing, but I don't tend to watch videos (I assume they mean something off YouTube, and that sort of thing), and I missed Sunday's session of Lerowen's writing challenge because, first, I don't usually get online on Sundays, and, second, because my server took the Lord's Day off too. So I am writing on the seventh day's topic on the eighth.

day eight: your favourite genre to write

Well, Anna said it best. It is my turn to mooch from her intellect. I'm not really big on that kind of fantasy genre which is so divorced from reality as to be unrecognizable: fantasies with impossible-to-pronounce names and man-eating bogs, creatures that take pages to describe because they are so unique...that sort of thing. But I love the fantastical. I love the magical. I love that kind of literature which takes the reader back of everything in this world to the splendour it really bears (or should bear). I love stories that, despite their fantastic trappings, catch you unawares between idle thought taking it for granted that they are real. Beowulf - monsters spawned from Cain and ancient dragons? And yet, something about the old Scandinavian tale is real. Beowulf is real. The struggle against dragons (G.K. Chesterton, anyone?) is real. And somehow everything else filters in as real too. When you read The Hobbit, that English frankness (which did not come until the Norman invasion) makes everything seem real.

I like writing this mild sort of fantasy. It really depends on what I am trying to say. Sometimes it takes a very strong sort of magic to get through the murk and crusted darkness of an otherwise dull-seeming world to that sleeping shifting bit beneath that can remember Eden. It hasn't forgotten. It is almost painfully conscious that it is lost, and of what it lost - but also that it is being found again. I like catching those strains: it is an eerie music, isn't it? To the dull and common sense, it seems like so much fiction. But there are dreams and there are dreams, and it is a piece of truth that there is, or was, or will be, a newness of life in everything: in our step, in our sunrises and sunsets, in our heroes, in our stories. That is what I like catching.

“Man, like Janus, looks forward and backward, with longing and confusion, to a Golden Age that is so far removed he cannot remember if he merely dreamt it, or if he walked it waking once. It is still there: marred as man is marred, besmirched and fallen as man is besmirched and fallen (what great worlds fell when man took his willful plunge!), but it is still there. There is warmth in a glass of wine and silver lining on the storm-wrack, and a sense of renewal and joy in spring—which harkens to our final Sabbath—which God has been pleased to bless us with, so that man in all his futility might taste and be accountable for His mercy, and so that man, longing for the Sabbath, might not grow over-weary.”

from dreams of sleep shall men awake
one day, but not to weep:
the dreams remain; they only break
the mirror of the sleep

3 ripostes:

  1. I have had that little scrap of verse from 'Hesperus' - MacDonald quotes it in Phantastes - floating through my head for the last month or so, and it was definitely in my mind when I scrawled my post on this topic. Which is a little odd, but in a good way. ^.^

  2. Well! Between the two of us, I think we said what we wanted to say adequately. ^.^ And for being so small a piece of poetry, I've found it unusually applicable where I least expected it.

  3. I love all your posts for the challenge... but this one especially, because that is exactly the kind of fantasy I like, and you described it so perfectly. :)

    And the one on least favorite character... I was beginning to think I must be really weird for finding my girl characters harder to write! So nice to know I am not the only one... :D