Fantasy and ‘Realism’

I think I must be more than halfway done writing my new book, The Glass Bridge. All sorts of things are happening in this story. I wonder how it’ll end.

Meanwhile, one of the issues that comes up all the time in both my writing and my reading is… to what extent is anything I read about or write about ‘real’?

Ray Harryhausen used to say nobody wants to go to the movies to see a sinkful of dirty dishes. Ah–but there are a lot of movies (and even more novels) that show you nothing but stacks of dirty dishes, and even mold growing on them. This fixation on decay and ugliness is always called “realism.”

To impress college professors and literary critics, Stephen King filled The Shining with infinite detail about the protagonist’s whole life, starting with early childhood–all of it ugly, painful, perverse, etc. Betcha it added 100 pages to the book. He provided this excess of unedifying information because it is what intellectuals and literary wallahs consider to be “realistic” detail. If the author writes about someone who has led a wholesome and happy life, that would be pooh-poohed as unrealistic.

What this teaches us is an important lesson about what Godless humanists think about reality: only the bad stuff is real. This comes across in their literature all the time. It is a world-view that also works its way into their personal lives.

They can keep it.


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