In Fantasy Land, things were never like they were in Fantasy fiction. For a start, nobody would have called a fantasy land ‘Fantasy Land’ in any manufactured form of an imaginary imaginary world. ~~ Only in real imaginary worlds are you free to call things what they are really called. And, as I nearly started by saying, Fantasy Land is very white and cold today.. ~~ About twenty tears ago, the Welsh writer Rhys Hughes wrote a letter to me saying: “To talk about your own writing is like putting footprints into a perfect surface of crisp new snow.”. ~~ He was not talking about either of us, I confirm, but about writers in general. Writers of Fantasy in particular. I’ve always tried to remember that advice. Not always with success, as most human beings (including me) are prone towards the need for ego massage. . ~~ And I need also to remember his words today, for one special reason. In Fantasy Land, I have discovered, they read nothing but DF Lewis books. And there is nothing I can do about it..~ ~~ Until once upon a time…. Fantasy Land has piques and veils. Turrets of truth pricking a turbulent sky of clouds, clouds that are as blue as if they are patches torn from a perfect summer sky in our own land, here, wherein I write about Fantasy Land at a distance, but knowing that both lands are as real as each other.. ~~ Fantasy Land’s people are dressed like chivalrous knights or, sometimes, like angels (without wings) who can easily be imagined populating an idiosyncratic vision of Heaven.. ~~ Castles with moats as if painted by Mediaeval monks, but, even so, habitable and solid enough.. ~~ And I found myself (or wrote or imagined myself as such!) to be one of the many outsiders wandering through Fantasy Land in search of readers of their own books. As I made clear earlier, Fantasy Land was perfect for me in this regard! Indeed, it had become a version of Heaven I could not have imagined better.. ~~ But to write or speak or even simply imagine writing or speaking about one’s own writing was, as Rhys said, an unworthy activity. I needed slowly to dissolve the persona that was my own self in a form of piecemeal suicide, i.e. leaving Fantasy Land insulated within some unread void where the inhabitants – amid the resplendently painterly castles and strange skies – could read only DF Lewis books to their hearts’ contents without anyone else knowing about it, especially without me-with-such-a-trigger-happy-ego knowing about it.. ~~ And I stood beneath the blue-patchy clouds before the biggest castle of them all wherefrom they were even at this moment ceremonially lowering the last drawbridge-balcony towards me notch by notch – and I breathed-in deeply and held this last breath as I watched each of my limbs fade, before all of Fantasy Land itself slowly became a metaphor for an untuned signal on an old-fashioned TV set when close-downs followed the National Anthem..I hope nobody switches me back on. .
But, surely, nobody cannot hope for anything?
written today and first published above.