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Frank Furedi, Gwyneth Jones, Philip Pullman. Andrew Copson hosts.

From Narnia to Ankh-Morpork to Hogwarts, our exposure to the fantastical is soaring to new heights. Is fantasy simply an escape from a hostile world or a triumphant way of dealing with the realities of every day?

The Panel

Award-winning novelists Gwyneth Jones and Philip Pullman and sociologist and philosopher Frank Furedi join Andrew Copson for a journey beyond reality.

In association with the British Humanist Association.

The Cinema of Ideas
Jo Elliott, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Jonathan Webber
Poetic Theories
Ken Binmore, Mary Midgley, Ruth Padel
At the World's Edge
Antonia Byatt, Terry Eagleton, Terry Pratchett, Mary Ann Sieghart
Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Frank Furedi
    The Pitch
    Fantasy is the greatest human adventure
  • Gwyneth Jones
    The Pitch
    Visual culture allows us to imagine other worlds
  • Philip Pullman
    The Pitch
    Realism is nobler than fantasy
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    The nature of fantasy now
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Fantasy and reality
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    Fantasy and morality
Join the conversation

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TheGoldenMonkey on 20/12/2012 1:52pm

To suggest that fantasy is merely escapism is equivalent to accusing all fictions - literary or otherwise - of being nothing more than a distraction. Fantasy is obviously more concerned with plot and world-building than other genres, but it has the same quality to reflect our lives and experiences back at us in incredible ways.

Philip Pullman's work is incredible. I read Northern Lights again recently and it was just as enlightening as the first time I encountered it as a child.

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