Thursday, March 19, 2009


From Laura Miller, The Magician’s Book:
Do the children who prefer books set in the real, ordinary, workaday world ever read as obsessively as those who would much rather be transported into other worlds entirely? Once I began to confer with other people who had loved the Chronicles as children, I kept hearing stories, like my own, of countless, intoxicated rereadings. “I would read other books, of course,” wrote the novelist Neil Gaiman, “but in my heart I knew that I read them only because there wasn’t an infinite number of Narnia books.”
NB for particular detail piece see discussion on p. 265 of C.S. Lewis on the modest detail in medieval literature (Friar John, in Chaucer’s Sumoner’s Tale, pausing to ‘droof awey the cat’ before sitting down on bench).


  1. Answer to initial question: yes. (Word verification: ingesti.)

  2. This may be a false assumption. For if we accept ALL novels -- both "real" and "speculative" -- as transporting, then should such a distinction even matter? (Personal aside: Childhood descents into Dickens and Thackeray on this end -- or, for that matter, bourgeois worlds that I never thought I would brush against proved just as exotic and intoxicating as fantasy.)