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Discussions at the Market - Dragons

I’ve been selling my books at a local farmers’ market for several weeks. This has given me the opportunity to meet many people and have very interesting conversations. Some of these are about fantasy fiction and involve dragons, as they are a prominent part of a fantasy series I am selling at the market.

The dragon has different meanings in different cultures.

In the west, they often represent evil and are associated with wanton destruction and hording . They are sometimes referred to as worms and have a strong link with snakes. The serpentine shape in northern European cultures is often linked to disruption.

Yet, in eastern cultures, the serpentine shape represents power that brings about change in the world.

Eastern dragons represent strength wisdom and success and are associated with many natural elements such as rain to water crops. A legend speaks of Koi fish leaping up a waterfall called the Dragon Gate to become dragons themselves. This metaphor is carried forward today in China as meaning someone who moves up in station through effort.

The discussions at the market considered how fantasy stories in the west do not need to be tied exclusively to European mythology and that melding other cultures can expand and enhance fantasy fiction. I feel that in doing so, writers must understand the different cultures whose tellings are melded together and be respectful of them.


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