[excerpt from C. S. Lewis, Evangelical Rock Star – NYTimes.com]
Westerners, by contrast, not only tolerate fantasy play but actively encourage it, for adults as well as for children. We are novel readers, movie watchers and game players. We have made J. K. Rowling very wealthy.
This suggests that we imagine a complex reality in which things might be true — materially, spiritually, psychologically. Science leads us to draw a sharp line between what is real and what is unreal. At the same time, we live in an age in which we are exquisitely aware that there are many theories, both religious and scientific, to explain the world, and many ways to be human.
Probably fiction does for us what the vision of Aslan did for Bob: it helps us to learn what we find emotionally true in the face of irreconcilable contradictions. That is what Joshua Landy, a professor of French literature, argues in “How to Do Things with Fictions”: fiction teaches us how to think about what we take to be true. In the cacophony of an information-soaked age, we need it.