The Fell Gard Codices

Seasonal Thoughts

April 18th, 2013

It’s been feeling like spring around these parts, and after snow only a few days ago, it looks like warmer weather will be settling in for the near future (and hopefully longer). When I say ‘feeling like spring’ I mean that — you can smell it, you can sense it in the air. No more overnight frosts. Everything’s thawed. The trees are budding.

For whatever reason, I have always felt a weirdly strong association between the coming of spring and reading fantasy fiction. It’s a lot like Northrop Frye’s theories about the correlation between seasons and genres; except he assigned ‘romance,’ which category would cover the type of fantasy I have in mind, to summer. I can understand the logic, and I can feel that, too. But fantasy still seems to me a function of spring; the budding of new life. The magical revival of the earth. It’s maybe more to do with John Clute’s idea of fantasy as a myth of the thinning of magic, the transformations and night journeys of a protagonist, and finally a eucastrophe — an unexpected healing of the land. Spring after winter.

Or, maybe it’s just because when I was a kid I bought my first fantasy novels in spring (Elfstones of Shannara and Alison Rush’s The Last of Danu’s Children, if you’re wondering). But then the two things are not mutually exclusive. Season and story can be seen as mutually reinforcing. It’s a pleasing image to me, somehow, and feels right.

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