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Is a fictive imaginary world more engaging if it's realistic or fantastic?

I'm getting ready to teach a "topics in literature" course at West Chester University, and I'm returning to one of my favorite themes, imaginary worlds. Although every literary world is an imaginary world, some are more obviously imaginary than others. In the pop culture, there are signs that the there's a turn of the wheel from "reality tv" to more obviously imaginary worlds like "Heroes." Our fascination with fantasy in popular film is another sign to me that imaginary worlds are becoming more and more appealing.

I have theories as to why this is so, but I'm interested in others' views.

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Comment by Leon on January 5, 2008 at 7:17am
Hi Lacey
My formula for this is Three Three and Three
3 States are 1) universal 2) cosmic 3) astral
3 Real are 1) Past 2) Present 3) future
3 Realms 1) Real 2) Imaginary 3) delusional
Combinational use of these in wrong order leads to collision of will can and do
Like mushroom in the dark requiring a special fertilizer for growth
There is always a price to pay for greatness even when time itself is the assassin
Rose-ology by Leon
Comment by Nitin Dangwal on January 5, 2008 at 1:38am
well to say about the DREAMERS not valued, I think dreaming is the first step towards creativity. Remember GOOGLE policy which gives its employees 10% of their time to js dream, however weird, but js dream, imagine. Be it HITLER's dream to capture the whole world or SERGY and LARRY's dream to capture the entire internet in their computer. It all starts with a dream. If dreams are controlled by reality then they will lose all their colors and then people will find excuses to not to dream.
Comment by Nitin Dangwal on January 5, 2008 at 1:30am
imaginary world allow us to forget the very immediate problems and delve into a world which allow us to fly as high as we can, we can touch the heights of the sky or the depths of ocean. Ya, fantasy movies are the treat I always make sure that I don't miss. Be it HP, LOTR, or the latest The Golden Compass
Comment by Stacy Esch on January 4, 2008 at 10:29am
I'd like to follow up on your equation of imaginary worlds and dream worlds--and dream vs. imagination in general.

When a great leader like Martin Luther King, Jr. uses the metaphor of "dream," (as in "I have a dream..."), the value of dreaming is well understood. The dreamer is a visionary able to imagine something better for us, something that isn't real yet but worth striving to make real. But most of the time, "dreamers" are not valued. For instance, you might hear someone say something like he or she's "just a dreamer." Think of Lennon's beautiful song, "Imagine"--the lyric goes, "you may say I'm a dreamer--but I'm not the only one," as if he has to defend himself for being visionary.

Why do we value the visionary only sometimes? The artists who create imaginary worlds for us to play in sometimes have to pay a huge price. The two men in these examples were both assassinated.
Comment by Leon on January 1, 2008 at 7:06am
Amazing the achievements of practice.
Rose-ology by Leon
Comment by Vipul Chandra on January 1, 2008 at 1:39am
Literary writers and poets are humans too. That is why they create imaginary worlds where their protagonists would live a life they dreamt of living. In real life for example soemtimes I wish that had I been a king I would have put away that person in the dungeon for not agreeing with me. So if I start writing, my writings might start reflecting such imaginations. I think this is all very human.

Now the readers might interpret the same thing by assuming themselves to be the King or the person who was put away in the dungeon. Thus the same writing can be positively or negatively interpreted. The success of the work would ultimately depend on how the writer has developed the characters. If their positive and negative traits come out in agreement with the writer's conclusion then accordingly historians would chronicle this writing as either positive or negative.

Off late not just positive but the negative writings, lyrics and blogs are being fantasised. This is more so because the works become public over the internet before the society 'leaders' have done a critique. This is good in that this encourages free communication. But this is bad in that the PG, PG-13 or R can't be distinguished from each other before they reach the masses.
Comment by Leon on December 28, 2007 at 12:00pm
Hi Ted
Too Late.
With time as its canvas the Art, culture, symbols, and beliefs are artist, sculptures and painters on space and time and each uses a different brush stroke but uses same brush (division)
Rose-ology by Leon
Comment by Ted Phipps on December 27, 2007 at 9:52pm
How would a Avatar respond to the question: Are we in danger of fantasy becoming reality?
Comment by Leon on December 26, 2007 at 3:30pm
Hi Ted
Thanks I enjoyed that, yes engineers and don’t forget inventors too.
Rose-ology by Leon
Comment by Ted Phipps on December 26, 2007 at 2:50pm
Leon, I think we posted within a few min's of each other.
It's interesting that even this thread takes on it's own evolutionary path of diverging and adapting.
Imagination is key to art - I agree.
Interpreting art, is like trying to reverse engineer dreams.

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