Wilding Redux

Interesting thoughts about fantasy and its cultural necessity from Tiffany Trent in a post today:

To my mind, fantasy is more necessary than ever. It seeks to cure an incurable loneliness. Our cities are empty, devoid of all but ourselves, starlings, and the occasional opossum. Our suburbs are rapidly becoming the same. When I read urban fantasy, I can’t help but smile a little, because the former eco-lit student in me reads it ultimately as an attempt at re-wilding. We miss the people and creatures we once believed shared this world with us. We long for the numinous, the inexplicable. We would like to think that we have more important things to do than get to work on time and make endless copies. While our ancestors may have longed for escape from deadly fairies and things that go bump in the night, I think we crave them. We want companionship and heroics, but more deeply, we long for meaning.

Fantasy offers us that. It’s a way of making sense. It’s a way of re-wilding our cities and suburbs, our monocultured forests, with the beautiful and terrible visions of our past. It’s a way of making ourselves feel part of a greater order and asserting our place in it, all at once. It’s a bridge over sometimes vast cultural and mythic divides. And it’s a chance, a very important chance, to dream.

I really like the term "re-wilding."

1 thought on “Wilding Redux”

  1. Thanks for this, Gwenda. Re-wilding is a term we used a lot in eco-lit/nature writing, but I’ve not seen it often used in fantasy/YA circles. 🙂

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