Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Of Books And Flights Of Fancy

Dug through my files for this great, if verbose, quote. The file was date-stamped June 23, 2001. I have no idea where I found it. I find it a very prophetic vision of that small niche now occupied by role-playing games.

"It has continually struck us that there is no element in modern life that is more lamentable than the fact that the modern man has to seek all artistic existence in a sedentary state. If he wishes to float into fairyland, he reads a book; if he wishes to dash into the thick of battle, he reads a book; if he wishes to soar into heaven, he reads a book; if he wishes to slide down the banisters, he reads a book. We give him these visions, but we give him exercise at the same time, the necessity of leaping from wall to wall, of fighting strange gentlemen, of running down long streets from pursuers -- all healthy and pleasant exercises. We give him a glimpse of that great morning world of Robin Hood or the Knights Errant, when one great game was played under the splendid sky. We give him back his childhood, that godlike time when we can act stories, be our own heroes, and at the same instant dance and dream."
-- G. K. Chesterton, 1905, The Club of Queer Trades