Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Fantasy

Reading thuRsday

The first fantasy book that captured and catalyzed my imagination was the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia. I stumble upon The Last Battle in my elementary school library after exhausting their meager collection of books on World War II. I think it was the "battle" in the title that originally caught my eye.

I was mesmerized by the apocalyptic themes (it was easy to entertain apocalyptic notions during a time when everyone assumed nuclear war was inevitable) and enthralled by the conceptual scope of the fantasy. I found the theme of ever expanding vistas of worlds wider and richer than the one we know to be particularly compelling.

The transcendental surrealism (not a label I had at the time) of the story was far more effective than a mind-expanding drug. I got my first taste of the way in which one could understand something more deeply and vibrantly if they were unencumbered by the constraints of ordinary experience.

And that was it: one (metaphorical) puff and I was hooked.

What was the first fantasy novel you read?

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

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