The newspaper articles that Joe had read about the upcoming Senate investigation into comic books always cited “escapism” among the litany of injurious consequences of their reading, and dwelled on the pernicious effect, on young minds, of satisfying the desire to escape. As if there could be any more noble or necessary service in life.
From Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which was phenomenal.
Kavalier and Clay amazed me for all the reasons it will amaze you, but it also spoke to me as a writer who is beginning to discover that writing often serves as an escape.
Strong senses of observation and empathy are necessary for writing, but they’re also pretty excellent at making one notice what a stupid and depressing world we can live in, at times. Creating a world on the page has become therapeutic.
I’ve begun to find that I still enjoy the “escapist” books I read when young. Particularly I’ve been enjoying Robert Louis Stevenson lately, and I’ve been wondering why it is so difficult to find new stories of adventure such as Stevenson wrote. I don’t know why, and I think we need more. Kavalier and Clay is a good start.