My Antonia was the first book to make me cry in a long time. Even Light in August, which was so good, didn’t make me cry at the end. I loved Antonia and that’s exactly the sort of book I want to be reading at all times. And now I’m going to start Game of Thrones? Who knows if this is a good idea, I just want to read at least the first book before I start watching the show.
I think that pretty much every form of fiction (I’d include fantasy, obviously) can actually be a real escape from places where you feel bad, and from bad places. It can be a safe place you go, like going on holiday, and it can be somewhere that, while you’ve escaped, actually teaches you things you need to know when you go back, that gives you knowledge and armour and tools to change the bad place you were in.
So no, they’re not escapist. They’re escape.
—Neil Gaiman (via observando
Anyone who’s worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm.
—Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room