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The Role of Hospitality in Stories

4thstreetfantasy's podcast

Release Date: 07/11/2020

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Dealing with Dragons by Minnesota writer Patricia Wrede. A common element in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles is that, while the heroes buck many traditions, they also maintain manners and respect for the ways other people do things even when they don’t understand. Still, they will enforce boundaries against those intending harm when hospitality is abused. 

In cultures around the world, the importance of hospitality in stories goes back as long as we’ve had stories: even when that hospitality is taken advantage of, people don’t throw out the tradition wholesale. How do we tell the difference in our stories between honoring hospitality and valuing “courtesy” that becomes a vehicle for tone policing, rules lawyering, and enforcing the status quo; or the line between a malicious actor and one who is wrong but can be corrected? Why is commitment to hospitality so ingrained, and transgressions against it so reprehensible? This panel will discuss what, in our current era, fantasy can do with the concept of what it means to welcome, and why that matters. 

4th Street At a Distance panel podcast 2 of 4

Recorded: June 8, 2020

Moderator: Marissa Lingen

Panelists: Pamela Dean, Matt Doyle, Max Gladstone, Reuben Poling