On Monsters and Fantasy

The commentary is a couple of years old, but it touches on concepts that are not only pertinent but central to many of my own thoughts on fantasy, horror, roleplaying, fiction and so on.

From The Agony Column book reviews and commentary:

Chuck Palahniuk Wants To Write Horror.

Plus: mention of Rod Serling!

But that’s not all: link to audio of an interview with Palahniuk.

I agree that within constraint there is freedom. By setting up certain tropes and expectations, one doesn’t have to worry about all that stuff and can go straight for the throat, saying what one wants to in terms of message, themes and all that good stuff. One can very often deliver one’s premise more effectively and easily through the mouth or actions of a monster than from the commentator’s pulpit. That’s one of the reasons that I love to employ the fantastic, the horrific and the sublime in my own writings and games.

A similar concept works in comedy as well: one can often approach much thornier issues in comedy than in drama, because attaching humor makes them easier to get the audience to swallow and digest them. A teaspoon of sugar helps the medecine go down and all that.

In a slightly different vein (ha!), I think it was Tchaikovsky that said something to the effect of “when I follow the rules, I am free to be creative” (I’m sure that’s a horrible paraphrase). If anyone knows the actual quote or origin, I’d appreciate it if you’d toss it my way.


3 Responses to “On Monsters and Fantasy”

  1. creativedv8tion Says:

    I think a closer paraphrasing of what Big Tchai said was, “когда я следую за правилами, я свободно быть творческ”.

  2. uhlrik Says:

    Thanks. That was helpful.

  3. creativedv8tion Says:

    That’s me, Mister Helpful.

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