When writing on the hazards of fantasy, I’m referring to the denial of reality and it’s highly harmful consequences, mental illness and genocides included. Religion, extremism, obscurantism and negativism are notorious examples.
The good role of fantasy lies on creativity, imagination, the establishing of goals and the play with both laws of nature and society, either through utopias or contemporary impossibilities, like flying once was, or through the creation of allegedly absurd worlds. These are the fantasies of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs with vision, some authors and children.
Fiction is, by definition, an expression of fantasy. It is a made up narrative. In each segment of it, an author makes the crucial choice of either obscurantism or vision. Each scene becomes a statement on human nature and it’s up to the author to be false or true.
Most consumers of fiction chose candy, no matter how true or false. They look for catharsis and this is juicier with blunt lies of accomplished desires or sentimental tragedy. It is all about soothing frustrations in the land of bestsellers.
There are exceptions and some of them become classics. In order to become a successful herald of truth through the means of fiction and fantasy, these are the ones to study.
How I hate them! A preposterous method to allegedly help readers to allocate themselves and their choices, genres are lethal to creativity and quality. Sectioning the fictional spectrum to accommodate thinking into restricted bookshelves soon becomes an amputation to reasoning and thinking. A mob of short-eyed readers, writers, critics and editors rises to present art as a money-making commodity to satisfy basic whims. To put it bluntly, genres are categories to chapbooks.
The horrible term literary fiction is coined to label artistry, which soon is related to presumption, arrogance and excruciating boredom. The trouble is that not being far from the truth. Several works of this genre are egocentric verbiage for the delight of pseudo-intellectuals and vain minds. In movie posters one could find the label quality as if to assure us we were witnessing a work of fine art.
It is all labeling! But that also takes us to the fashion of declaring certain fiction unlabelable, a term to easily be used as a label itself.
To my not so humble view, genres should only be used for their original purpose, the identification of content. What are you reading about? Knights, princesses, detectives, intergalactic smugglers, a family or the thoughts of an individual in daily life and much, much more! This identification should only occur for conversational purposes, never to name bookshelves nor for the purpose of catalog.
To pack books on a shelf, simply name each author and place them in alphabetical order.