Styles of fantasy

I think that people who love stories and reading frequently have the experience of wondering what happens outside the framework of the story, and that this impulse is very old. Because I study things religious I can point to the tendency to create materials outside of the canon in both Judaism and Christianity, for instance. I’ve been making up stories in my mind about participating in my own favorite narratives since I was at least six, when I imagined myself into the Gospel of Luke, and then a year or so later, into “Little Women” and “Nancy Drew.” And, of course, this is a fundamental dynamic behind the creation of fanfic–when people become so interested in their fantasies that they write them on paper to share with others.

With this particular fantasy, this tendency plays in via different structural variations:

  • I imagine a circumstance under which I actually know the real Mr. Armitage — let’s say he comes to my city for coaching on a regional dialect for a future role and I am the dialect coach, or I run into him while I am using the British Library
  • I add myself to a narrative in which Armitage is playing one of his previous roles (Mr. Thornton, for example) — I become a character in an already-defined universe, such as Margaret Hale’s younger, less prejudiced, more attractive, smarter, kinder sister
  • I imagine Armitage playing one of his roles in my own universe–Lucas North comes to my city on MI 5 business, and I help him thwart an al-Qaeda plot
  • I imagine myself into a narrative that combines what I know about Armitage and some aspect of one his roles
  • I imagine myself into a narrative that has no component of reality about my life or Armitage’s or any of his characters

There may be other variations but these seem to cover my own fantasies, at any rate.

~ by Servetus on February 26, 2010.

5 Responses to “Styles of fantasy”

  1. […] of fantasy, continued. Here, I offered a morphology of the kinds of fantasies I have that involve Mr. Armitage or characters he […]

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  2. […] with Armitage have changed over time, so my own position on what to blog here has developed. Early posts (in February and March 2010) drew more explicitly on the theme of dreams and fantasies and my […]

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  3. Can’t wait for you to write those scenario’s!! Except you’ll be beating yourself up with major research and before you know it, there you have a literary work!!

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  4. […] eventually want to write about my fantasy life without disguising it as anything else — since fantasies had invigorated my desire to write in the first place — and that such discussions would never be allowed on the moderated forums, not least because […]

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