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Fantasy is escapist

10 March 2016

Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!

J.R.R. Tolkien


17 Comments to “Fantasy is escapist”

  1. Love, love, love.

  2. I’ll echo Robin: love, love, love!

  3. That’s just beautiful. How have I never heard this one? That quote basically sums up my purpose in life.

    • Yes, like you I’d never heard this and now wonder why.

      The “standard” Tolkien quote on the subject is that reported by C S Lewis:

      I never fully understood it till my friend Professor Tolkien asked me the very simple question, “What class of men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and hostile to, the idea of escape?” and gave the obvious answer: jailers.”

      – which is good, but I think PG’s quote is better.

      • Man, another I hadn’t heard, and I’ve read a couple of these guys’ biographies. Thank you!

  4. This quote is made of awesome. I need this on a coffee cup, a T-shirt, a screensaver, everything. This just makes my day.

  5. A wonderful quote! I want the T-shirt, too. 🙂

  6. So we’re escape artists?
    Make way, Mister Miracle.

  7. count me another who has read all the histories, the collected letters, biographies, and never come across this quote! Thanks for finding it, PG!

  8. Phyllis Humphrey

    So what was PG’s quote that is so awesome?

  9. Best quote ever from one of my all-time favorites. This just made my day–thanks PG!

  10. But don’t forget to come back to reality before losing its flavour.

  11. This quote is from Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories which is a brilliant piece. Anyone interested in Tolkien or Fantasy should read it.

  12. J. R. R. Tolkien did not write that. It is from Ursula K. Le Guin’s Language of the Night. She is paraphrasing one of Tolkien’s arguments in ‘On Fairy Stories’, but not quoting it directly.


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