What would Professor Bhaer think of Fantasy fiction?

So, as I’ve written extensively, I’m on a fantasy fiction reading marathon. I finished all those recommended to me from my dear friend, the last of which was the ill-fated Game of Thrones series. That was not satisfying.

So, as that drew to a close, I was just about ready to give it up and go back to the literary writings I have always loved.

But, someone recommended a new series, and I’m ripping through that now.

I feel almost as if I’ve opened a bag of candy corn and I can’t stop the bite-bite-bite.

This one is good though! Not like the horrible George R.R. Martin series!

but as I find myself unable to put down yet another fantasy trilogy…I am reminded of something from long ago.

I was a very young teenager when I discovered Louisa May Alcott. Little Women was the first, but she had quite a few more books. I read them all. Jo’s Boys was not one of the best, I liked Rose in Bloom.

But I remember Jo struggling to become and author, and how she fell in love with a German professor. He told her she was better than just a writer of “sensation” stories.

How was a 14-year-old supposed to decipher that? What in the world are “sensation” stories? I could only assume they were bodice-rippers…but they seemed a little more complicated than that. Plus, Jo was not particularly ‘fast’.

But as I try to make sense of why my literary canon is different from these genre fiction page-turners, I am thinking about Professor Bhaer. I think he might call these fantasy-magical stories beneath Jo’s talent.

Maybe they are.

Not that we must always be striving for our best in every darn moment of every day. Escapism has it’s place for sure.

But I wonder. The other anthology-type reading had more grist to it. More literary vitamins.

I don’t know what dragons have to tell me about facing my everyday moral dilemmas.

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