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Why We Read Fantasy Novels

Fantasy and Scifi icon C.S. Lewis expressed eloquently what makes us love to read fantasy literature. In in his book, An Experiment in Criticism, he writes...
The first reading of some literary work is often, for the literary, an experience so momentous that only experiences of love, religion or bereavement can furnish a standard of comparison. Their whole consciousness is changed. They have become what they were not before?what they have read is constantly and prominently present to the mind?[they] mouth over their favourite lines and stanzas in solitude. Scenes and characters from books provide them with a sort of iconography by which they interpret or sum up their own experience.

The great artist - or at all events the great literary artist - cannot be a man shallow either in his thoughts or his feelings. However improbable and abnormal a story he has chosen, it will, as we say, 'come to life' in his hands. The life to which it comes will be impregnated with all the wisdom, knowledge and experience the author has; and even more by something which I can only vaguely describe as the flavour or 'feel' that actual life has for him...[it will] allow us temporarily to share a sort of passionate sanity.

Well said Mr. Lewis. Well said.
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