[ExI] Fwd: story

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Sep 24 18:00:09 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace

>>…Nonfiction has a fun other-worldly weirdness to it you just can’t make up.   spike

>…Maybe that's why fictionalized history is so popular: a mix of what was and what might have been. On the other hand, I 've read some fiction that just dazzled me that someone could make that up.​


BillW, in a sense, they don’t make it up.  Consider two classic proto-fantasy works, Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz and Theodore Geisel, who did the Dr. Seuss works.  Agreed those are two good examples of fantasy?


If you read up on Geisel’s work before he became a children’s author, he was a political cartoonist.  In that context, view his classic work The Cat in the Hat.  Notice the cat’s hat has the horizontal red and white stripes.  Remind you of anything?  The cat comes into someone else’s home uninvited, rearranges everything completely without permission, to the astonishment of the appalled children, all while being reprimanded by the goldfish, completely ignored by America, or rather the cat in the hat with all the mysterious abilities.  View that in the context of an author who was a prewar interventionist (see Horton Hears a Who (and imagine the Whos are Jews, crying out for help.)  View the Cat in the Hat as a political cartoon thinly disguised as children’s literature, decrying America’s hyperactive interventionism into other cultures.  Geisel was a prewar interventionist and postwar isolationist.  His fantasy writings are childrenized political commentary.


Frank Baum: now there’s a weird fun fantasy.  He didn’t just make up that story.  It is political commentary and symbolism throughout.  The main characters all represent the settings of his day.  Opinions vary on who represented who, but a plausible suggestion is that William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan were represented in the story, as well as shadow imagery in other characters.


My notion is that the best fantasy is vaguely based on reality in a sense.  That might apply to SciFi as well.



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