Britocentric fantasy

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Mon Apr 12 13:34:38 EDT 2004


On Mon, Apr 12, 2004 at 06:25:48PM +0100, Minnow wrote:

>the naughty
>woman wrote about things she knew about.

And about which her audience would know: it is hardly a given even now
that a book will be distributed widely outside its country of first
publication, so its primary audience would be expected to be most
familiar with Britain.

>The Dark
>Lord winning means the End Of The World as a rule, or at least the End
>Of The World As We Know It.

I think this is an important point; our heroes may be fighting a local
fight, but very few Dark Lords are going to stop when they've got
control of the town or the country; as a type they seem most easily defeated
_before_ they have had a chance to establish much of a power-base. So
while they're a world-wide menace, the fight we read about is still a
local one.

Changing perspective a little, I think it would be very difficult to
write convincingly a fantasy about a world-wide menace, fought across
the world _only by a few interesting children_... unless they were all
on the same email list or something, perhaps.

(Hmm. I shall have to take that away and play with it.)

>Has anyone complained that some world-saving fantasy set entirely in an
>American, or in an Australian, context is a colonial/imperialist text,
>and if not, why not, would be another question that sprang to my mind. 

Well, yes - see almost any film in which The World (i.e. America) is
invaded by aliens and saved by the (American) heroes. Of recent years 
there's been a tendency to have a token series of clips of the aliens 
invading other countries too, but as Allison points out the American 
film-makers are mostly only interested in portraying America.

Roger
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