The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

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Read this post in English

Una guida per il fantasy, un’analisi completa che mostra schemi ricorrenti e punti deboli del genere, il tutto scritto senza dimenticare umorismo e sottointesi rimandi ad opere ben note.
Più sotto riporto il commento, qui condivido una delle voci del glossario, anche perchè in questo caso la potenza del linguaggio la si può percepire solo leggendo.

HORSES are of a breed unique to Fantasyland. They are capable of galloping full-tilt all day without a rest. Sometimes they do not require food or water. They never cast shoes, go lame, or put their hooves down holes, except when Management deems it necessary, as when the forces of the DARK LORD are only half an hour behind. They never otherwise stumble. Nor do they ever make life difficult for Tourists by biting or kicking their riders or one another. They never resist being mounted or blow out so that their girths slip, or do any of the other things that make horses so chancy in this world. For instance, they never shy and seldom whinny or demand sugar at inopportune moments. But for some reason you cannot hold a conversation while riding them. If you want to say anything to another Tourist (or vice versa), both of you will have to rein to a stop and stand staring out over a VALLEY while you talk. Apart from this inexplicable quirk, Horse can be used just like bicycles, and usually are. Much research into how these exemplary animals come to exist has resulted in the following: no mare ever comes into season on the Tour and no STALLION ever shows an interest in a mare; and few Horses are described as geldings. It therefore seems probable that they breed by pollination. This theory seems to account for everything, since it is clear that the creatures do behave more like vegetables than mammals. It also explains why the ANGLO-SAXON COSSACKS and the DESERT NOMADS appear to have a monopoly on horse-breeding. They alone possess the secret of how to pollinate them.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

Questo non è un romanzo ma, come dice il titolo stesso, una guida per Fantasyland, regno in cui sono ambientate tutte le avventure fantasy.

L’autrice, brillante, abile e dotata di un raffinato senso dell’umorismo, immagina quel mondo e le sue caratteristiche e le propone al lettore sotto forma di glossario corredato da alcuni approfondimenti.

Ogni avventura (TOUR) è gestita abilmente tramite le regole del MANAGEMENT.

MANAGEMENT is the body who has arranged this Tour for you. It has made up the Rules for your comfort and convenience, so that no Tourist will ever be taken by surprise or shocked by an unexpected INCIDENT. Management reserves the right to alter the Rules in accordance with current fashions, and will admit absolutely no complaints or responsibility. It wishes you a safe and happy Tour of Fantasyland.

Nella guida non manca nulla – e se ne accorgeranno tutti i conoscitori del genere (non dico lettori perchè anche i videogiochi hanno le stesse caratteristiche) – comprese le GNOMIC UTTERANCES all’inizio di ogni capitolo.

GNOMIC UTTERANCES. These are traditional, and are set at the head of each section of the Guidebook. The reason for them is lost in the mists of HISTORY. They are culled by the Management from a mighty collection of wise sayings probably compiled by a SAGE – probably called Ka’a Orto’o – some centuries before the Tour begins. The Rule is that no Utterance has anything whatsoever to do with the section it precedes. Nor, of course, has it anything to do with GNOMES.

E’ un libro da leggere con calma – in fin dei conti non succede nulla – ma decisamente divertente ed estremamente corrispondente alla realtà: fornisce anche le inconfutabili prove che in tour in Dune e Star Wars non è fantascientifico.
Molti i rimandi al capostipite del genere (vedi RING, DARK LORD, LITTLE PEOPLE), ma nel complesso è un’analisi lucida e completa del genere che mostra come tutto venga costruito su schemi non necessariamente originali.

_______

* The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★★★

*Ho letto questo libro in Inglese

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