Mar. 16th, 2013

pegkerr: (Not all those who wander are lost)
I read this article a couple of days ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. It pins down something I thought about quite a bit when I was writing Emerald House Rising. I was intensely irritated about the fact that so many fantasy authors seem to have difficulty with trying to come up with a reason for women to go out and have adventures. SO MANY. I got sick of books that started with a family being destroyed, or a rape that drove a woman from home, usually on a quest for revenge. Can't you think of OTHER reasons for women to leave home?

I hadn't thought about some of the other points she makes, including that we really don't have any narrative for a woman on the road other than the one that ends in tragedy: she will end up raped and/or dead. The classic example that springs to mind for me is 'Vagabond.,' (or 'Sans Toit ni Loi' in the original French, which translates, I think, 'Without Roof or Law.') You can watch it in its entirety on Youtube, starting here. The movie begins with the woman's doom: she is discovered dead, in a ditch. The rest of the movie backtracks, telling the story of how she got there.

The quest narrative is so important in fantasy literature; it is archetypal. Jung thought that we needed it as part of our human story. So why do we suffer such a lack of imagination if our protagonist is a woman?

This takes on an interesting frisson for me, as I contemplate my daughter going traveling abroad next year.
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Marc Gunn (of the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast) is once again offering his free annual download of 17 Irish music mp3s. Check it out here.

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