The Place of the Pig-Keeper: To Know Oneself

  • Kath Filmer-Davies


‘Fantasy,’ writes Lloyd Alexander, ‘tells us that we’re considerably more than we think we are; and in this sense fantasy also tells the truth,’ So saying, his voice resonates with those of J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin. Fantasy is the most intellectually and spiritually challenging of all literary genres, because it provokes readers into taking a deeper and clear look into themselves. But as disconcerting and even painful as such an experience might be, fantasy offers hope:

Despite the rather sour state of the world, I still believe people have such capabilities and potential, such a capacity for humanity—if we can only get at it—that indeed someday we can write our own happy ending.

This may be no more than wishful thinking. But a wish is certainly a good way to start. There’s no law in the fantasy world or in the real world that says some wishes can’t come true. If fantasy is a kind of hopeful dream, it’s nevertheless one that we made up ourselves.

And, after all, how can we be less than our own dreams? (‘Truth about Fantasy’ 174)1


Literary Genre Happy Ending English Title Good Humour Ancient Walis 
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  1. 1.
    Lloyd Alexander, ‘Truth About Fantasy’ in Top of the News, January 1968, 168–174.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lloyd Alexander: The Book of Three (1964)Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Abraham H. Maslow. Motivation and Personality, 2nd edition. New York: Harper and Row, 1970.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See Robert Graves, The White Goddess. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Peter Beagle. The Last Unicorn. London: Unwin, 1983. (Fp 1968).Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones (translators), The Mabinogion, revised edition. London: Dent, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kath Filmer-Davies 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kath Filmer-Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandAustralia

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