From the time that the novel in English came into existence, the imagination of the novelist has gone across the shores of England; into distant unknown islands or colonial lands. The novelist has tended to take the reader to places which needed to be viewed with the help of the imagination. The novel has been even serving as a vehicle to take us to fairy lands forlorn where the mind would find it difficult to reach. We want to read about strange places and people that we would not normally see in a lifetime. Before the English novel came into existence, writers that mattered, like Shakespeare, also took us into the realm of fairies and witches and these played a very positive role in their scheme of things. Writers in this category were quite clear that art was a lie that made them realize the truth of life.
Magical realism, the gothic novel, and certain romances that began in ancient Greece and Rome, then came to England in the Renaissance (to an extent) or later in the eighteenth century in a more complete form, are evidence of the fact that the human imagination and mind always returns to that which is not rationally verifiable.
We don’t only want stories but stories that indulge in the extra-rational. The extra rational should never be considered less than the rational. It should be considered more because it incorporates imaginative conquests of an experience that is rationally unreachable. No matter how much we have advanced in terms of technology and knowledge there is always something left for us to know and explore. Where there is no existing vehicle to reach this romantic, magical and explorative realm, fiction will come into operation.
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