And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it’s a bad thing. As if “escapist” fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.
If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn’t you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with (and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.
As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.
Don’t talk to yourself in such a way that if you did so to a friend, it would end your friendship.
If you had a friend dealing with the same things, you wouldn’t berate that person, say, ‘You’re not working hard enough,’ ‘You suck,’ or ‘You’re not as good as [whomever].’ You’d offer your friend encouragement, you’d try to point out all the things your friend did right, and how much progress your friend had made.
You should do no less for yourself.Be very careful how you talk to yourself. Because you are listening.
Richard: Hey cousin, I think you should wear this hat
Richard: I’m king
REVENGE OF THE HAT
a true story
OMG THERE IS HENRY HAT FANART MY LIFE IS NOW COMPLETE
I SWEAR HE WORE THAT HAT TO GET OUT OF THE SLIPPER+CHAINS-WEARING.
A HARD CHOICE BUT SOMETIMES ONE MUST MAKE THEM