Hippogriff's Aerie

Apparitions of Imagination

Nihilism and Tolkien

Pat’s blog today had a link to an article that seems to be causing quite a stir. It is a post that bemoans the state of modern fantasy, and you can find it here:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/lgrin/2011/02/12/the-bankrupt-nihilism-of-our-fallen-fantasists/

These “modern”, ‘gritty” books are not an antithesis to Tolkien – they are a response to the Feists, Eddings, and hundreds of copycats (including Harry Potter) that are a coming-of-age story about a young person’s journey to become a hero, which are derivative of Hobbits becoming heroes. During the 80s and 90s it seemed like you couldn’t take a step without tripping over one of these stories. This formulaic approach to fantasy lead others to desire a break with the stereotype and create something new. I don’t see the need to bash this “modern” fantasy…to expect authors to all re-write the Lord of the Rings is quite ludicrous. I love the response from R. Scott Bakker, found here:

http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/the-fourth-tribe-or-going-for-baroque/

As for myself, I’ll vote for what I like using my wallet. There are plenty of places to read reviews that allow me to determine whether or not to pursue a book. I’m not really into the realistic fantasy, as I prefer imagination to realism. Still, I recognize and approve originality over derivation, and there are plenty of outstanding works by authors like Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Hobb.

Were the modern, gritty, realistic fantasy to become too prevalent, you would see the same kind of movement that spawned its creation – the desire for something new. And then, who knows? We may be back to re-writing Tolkien after all, or we may be sailing into uncharted waters…

Advertisements

February 15, 2011 - Posted by | Editorial

1 Comment »

  1. […] reactions on the nihilism in fantasy dust-up from Scott Andrews, BC Woods, Hippogriff and Lenty’s […]

    Pingback by Cora Buhlert | February 17, 2011 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: