In reinventing the world of intense, unreproduceable, local knowledge,
seemingly by a denial or evasion of current
reality, fantasists are perhaps
trying to assert and explore a
larger reality than we now allow ourselves.
They are trying to
restore the sense — to regain the knowledge — that
somewhere else, anywhere else, where other people may live
another kind of life. The literature of imagination, even
when tragic, is
reassuring, not necessarily in the sense of offering nostalgic comfort, but
because it offers a world large
enough to contain alternatives, and
therefore offers hope.
- Ursula LeGuin, The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists
Read the whole essay here.