And they're wrong.
Oh, they're very wrong because I believe they miss a fundamental point: the reason why we retreat into those worlds - whether it's one created by us or one created by others - is because we're VERY in touch with reality. In fact, we're probably in touch with it better than others are, because the very nature of the worlds we "visit" cause us to perceive the world we're "in" with more detail and clairity than most people do.
It is true that there's a thin line between fiction and reality. In fact, I believe most people would be very surprised at how much reality is reflected in fiction. It's masked, of course. The entire purpose, at least in fiction, it to entertain, but it does that by showing us different reflections of what we know. No matter what the genre, that new and different world holds up a mirror to make us see reflections of what we know in new and different ways. Do you relate to the characters? It's because you understand what they face based on situations or experiences you have. Are you intrigued by the plot or theme? It's because it reflects something that interest you in your own life. Do you ponder a course of action? It's because you see something there that you have or do face and are trying to stretch your mind to consider wider possibilities.
So the next time you see a reader or writer, don't be so quick to assume that they're out of touch with reality. In fact, they might be more in sync with reality the little things that so many people take for granted speak to them, and help them to see the "real world" with a wider perspective and a clairity that pierces the surface and gets the core of meaning - a meaning that could change everything, not just in the worlds they visit with writing and reading, but in the very life they live, everyday.
And isn't that what fantasy is about - taking us out of reality, so we can come back and see our own life more clearly? It's something to think about.
That's all today. Happy Friday to you, and I hope you have a great weekend.