At this point, realism is perhaps the least adequate means of understanding or portraying the incredible realities of our existence. A scientist who creates a monster in his laboratory; a librarian in the library of Babel; a wizard unable to cast a spell; a space ship having trouble in getting to Alpha Centauri: all these may be precise and profound metaphors of the human condition. The fantasist, whether he uses the ancient archetypes of myth and legend or the younger ones of science and technology, may be talking as seriously as any sociologist–and a good deal more directly about human life as it is lived, and as it might be lived, and as it ought to be lived. For after all, as great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.
This is such an important concept to remember, especially now, as our children, and grandchildren, and neighbors, and young friends enter the era of Common Core Curriculum. The role of fiction and imagination is being shrunk in the school child’s life in favor of analysis and evaluation. How are we going to make certain it does not get squeezed out entirely?