Monday, April 19, 2010

Guy Gavriel Kay Interviewed (Elsewhere)

Most of you have probably already read Pat's interview with Kay, but I figured I'd mention it, if only for the sheer excellence of the following quote:

What is your view as to fantasy's function?

I resist, inherently, grand unified field theories. I back away from the examples you’ve offered as much as I am uneasy with someone explaining the ‘function’ of music, art, or novels as a whole (psychological, evolutionary, whatever). For one thing, as you noted above, yourself, the fantasy field is increasingly fragmented and it is also increasingly blended into mainstream fiction. Does someone really want to try to be definitive about the shared ‘function’ of paranormal vampire detective-romance and Robert Jordan and Guy Kay and Le Guin’s Lavinia (compared to her Earthsea)? Good luck to them. Take it even further: might not the ‘function’ for you be very different regarding the same novel, from its function for me, or someone else? I’ll suggest chances are good they are different, in smaller or larger degrees. Art serves many and varied needs, and the very same work can serve quite different purposes for different people - and for the same person at different times in his or her life.

The rest of the interview is just as excellent, which goes to show that I really need to get around to ordering Under Heaven.

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