Fantasy lovers seek another world complete in itself. Ballads provide not just spells and enchantments, but a language like none other. In “Ballad Land,” Ellen Kushner remembers her own discovery of medieval fairy ballads, through both reading and music. She recalls the magical effect they had on her imagination as a child and ponders how and why this was carried into a creative adulthood. Among the results was her Thomas the Rhymer, “Ballad Land,” the magical world that ballads both create and evoke. Ballads, as the chapter indicates, become as true for the author as any other memories, connecting the individual’s past in childhood with our collective past.
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