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The Dream Life of Pure Escape

In an age of anxiety, books can offer pure escape

POST-SEPT. 11, government officials, when they weren't busy issuing vague warnings about junk mail and suspension bridges, advised us to get back to our daily lives, to "live life normally."

FOR MANY, that means getting back to good old-fashioned escapism: going to the movies, or the theater--or reading books. Escapism gets an undeservedly bad rap. Some equate it with avoidance. But in our escapist fantasies, those daydreams of modest magnitude, we form our understandings of what we desire from life, and how those desires can take shape.

ESCAPISM has replaced mythology in our modern psychology; fantasies like Bridget Jones' Diary or The West Wing embody greater truths about ourselves than the therapist's couch will allow. There is no greater proof of this than that academia has become obsessed with pop culture. Even in escapism we can't escape.

THIS EDITION of Metro's literary quarterly celebrates escapism in an exploration of fairy tales, erotica and science fiction, among other tantalizing getaways. Who says escapism is bad? Embrace it. It's as all-American as you can get right now.


Reading Philosophy for Fun and Profit: Alain de Botton can make it true for you.

Hard-core Speculation: Enter the faraway worlds of science fiction, and you just may learn something.

Oz Fellows: Fairy tales do--unfortunately--come true, in these twisted volumes.

Escape to the Kitchen: How reading about food can be almost as fun as eating it.

One Last Fling: Before settling down, Lily Burana escaped on a coast-to-coast striptease.

What Smut: There's Erotica for everyone in the wealth of new anthologies.

Sex Perplexed: A new porn writer presses the edges of the genre's flesh.


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From the November 8-14, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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