As I’ve mentioned a number of times before, I feel fantasy as a genre is uniquely positioned to convey spiritual realities. So I read with interest some of CS Lewis’s thoughts on the subject. In his essay “On Stories,” Lewis delves into of the craft of story and how we relate to and interact with the tales we read. In the midst of this essay, he uses author David Lindsey as an example in his discussion on imagination and world creation:
“Unaided by any special skill or even any sound taste in language, the author leads us up a stair of unpredictables…he builds whole worlds of imagery and passion, any one of which would have served another writer for a whole book, only to pull each of them to pieces and pour scorn on it. The physical dangers, which are plentiful, here count for nothing: it is we ourselves and the author who walk through a world of spiritual dangers which makes them seem trivial…he is the first writer to discover what ‘other planets’ are good for in fiction. No merely physical strangeness or spatial distance will realize that idea of otherness which is what we are trying to grasp in a story about voyaging through space: you must go into another dimension. To construct plausible and moving ‘other worlds’ you must draw on the only real ‘other world’ we know, that of the spirit.”
Lewis hits on a number of topics in this passage, but the one I find most interesting is his hypothesis that to create vivid fictive worlds, we must drawn from spiritual realities. Do you agree? Disagree?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Image credit: Ian Agrimis