Fantasy er for børn og barnlige sjæle

FantasyI  Danmark er det ikke let at være voksen læser af fantasy. Ofte er det i hvert fald sådan, at man leder forgæves på bibliotekernes hylder med dansksprogede bøger. Enten skal man i afdelingen for udenlandsk litteratur, eller også skal man finde børne- og ungdomsafdelingen. Men hvorfor er det egentlig sådan?

Af sprogpsykolog og skribent Karina Andersen

Et lille lokalt bibliotek et sted i København en stille torsdag eftermiddag. Jeg går og kigger mellem hylderne med skønlitteratur for voksne. Jeg nærmer mig børneafdelingen og ser, at den er opdelt i genrer, bl.a. fantasy, og mit blik falder på Tolkiens ”Ringenes Herre”.  Er det virkelig børnelitteratur?

Jeg bevæger mig videre rundt på biblioteket, og da jeg når til den udenlandske litteratur ser jeg, at der er en emneopdeling i både fantasy og science fiction. Tilsyneladende er det her, man skal finde sine bøger, hvis man som voksen gerne vil læse den slags.

En mangelvare i Danmark

Min formodning baseret på dette ene biblioteksbesøg bliver bekræftet, da jeg sætter mig for at undersøge sagen nærmere.  På hjemmesiden fyldepennen.dk finder jeg på debatsiderne et spørgsmål fra en bruger af hjemmesiden om, hvor man i Danmark finder god fantasy. Andre kommer med gode forslag, men der er tilsyneladende enighed om, at det kan være svært at finde gode titler. En af brugerne skriver:

”Jep, det er en mangelvare. Boghandlernes hylder bugner med fantasy til børn og paranormal romance til teenagepiger. Det virker lidt som om fantasy er noget, man bør vokse fra. Fandt engang en hylde i Arnold Busck i Waves, Hundige, hvor der stod Voksen Fantasy. Der stod tre titler … af i alt to forfattere. George R.R. Martin og J.D. Ward. Men i det mindste havde de da en hylde. Samme sted var for øvrigt pænt fyldt op med engelske fantasybøger. Man kommer bare ikke udenom at læse på udenlandsk, hvis det er god, voksen fantasy, du vil have. ”

Også Line Lybecker mener, at fantasy anses for at være noget for børn. Line Lybecker læser dansk på Københavns Universitet og har skrevet bacheloropgave om fantasy, hvor hun undersøger, hvad der adskiller fantasy for børn og voksne. I opgaven skriver hun, at vi behandler fantasy som udelukkende børnelitteratur, fx kan man på bibliotekerne finde” Harry Potter” og Narnia-bøgerne side om side med ”Ringenes Herre” i børneafdelingen (”Kampen om fantasy for voksne”,  s. 10. Opgaven kan findes på Line Lybeckers hjemmeside.). Da jeg kontakter hende, uddyber hun:

”Jeg kender en del, der skriver fantasy, men kun nogle få har fået det udgivet, og det er dem, der enten skriver til børn, eller er så heldige at have et så flydende engelsk, at de kan få det ud på det marked. Jeg er selv flere gange blevet mødt med et afslag, som fortalte mig, at forlaget ikke kunne afsætte en sådan roman, som jeg havde sendt til dem, fordi den var for avanceret til målgruppen, underforstået børn, eller at der ikke var et marked for den type af fantasy.”

Så det begrænsede udbud skyldes altså en opfattelse af, at fantasy er noget, som kun børn læser, og at der ikke er nok voksne læsere til, at det kan betale sig for forlagene at satse mere på forfattere, der henvender sig til en mere moden målgruppe.

… eller mangel på interesse

Flemming Rasch, som er næstformand i Foreningen Fantastik, en forening for fans af fantasy, science fiction og horror,  tror dog ikke, at der eksisterer en egentlig holdning til fantasy som noget kun for børn, han ser snarere hovedproblemet i, at interessen for genren ikke er stor nok til, at forlagene vil satse på voksenbøger. Han siger:

”Det sker jævnligt, at forlag forsøger at udgive fantasy eller science fiction for voksne på dansk, men må stoppe igen. Der er læsere, men de er for få, og hvis de interesserer sig for genren, læser de primært på engelsk. ”

Så derfor foretrækker forlagene fantasybøger skrevet til børn og unge:

”Hvor børn og unge ikke læser meget voksenlitteratur, er der mange voksne fans af fantasy, som læser fantasy for børn og unge. Så hvis et forlag vil have en fantasybog til at give overskud, skal den gerne være skrevet til børn og unge, så flest muligt vil læse den.”

Fra mangelvare til mainstream?

Det lader til, at fantasygenren i Danmark er havnet i en ond cirkel, der er svær at bryde: De interesserede kan ikke finde gode bøger på dansk til voksne og har derfor ikke mulighed for at læse bøger inden for genren. Kun de mest ihærdige opsøger udenlandsk litteratur og får deres læselyst tilfredsstillet på den måde. Dermed bliver der ikke skabt et marked for genren, og forlagene kan ikke tjene penge på det – og der bliver dermed ikke udgivet bøger på dansk, der kunne lokke flere læsere til.

Denne problematik er Flemming Rasch opmærksom på, men han er alligevel positiv på genrens vegne:

”Jeg tror da på, at man med en målrettet indsats vil kunne få danskere til at læse mere voksenfantasy. Tidspunktet er også ret godt lige nu, hvor der er mange gode fantasyforfattere til at skrive det, både her og i udlandet, og hvor populariteten af Martin og Tolkien kan udnyttes.”

Netop populariteten af fx ”Kampen om tronen” og ”Ringenes Herre” ser også Line Lybecker som en fordel, og hun mener, at behovet for voksenlitteratur vil stige:

”Game of Thrones har rykket rigtig meget, og samtidig er det værd at tænke på, at Harry Potter-generationen og alle de børn, der spillede live-rollespil under Ringenes Herre-feberen tilbage i starten af 00’erne, nu er blevet voksne, og mange af dem læser stadig fantasy og spiller stadig rollespil. Men nu, hvor de er blevet ældre, har de brug for litteratur, der passer til voksenlivet, og de stadier, de er i nu.”

En hel ny generation af potentielle voksne læsere er altså på vej, og det er måske noget, der kan få forlagene til at satse mere på genren i forhold til voksne. Et initiativ som Herlufsholm Fantasy Bogmesse, der afholdes 14. og 15. september 2013, kan i hvert fald ses som en tendens til, at genren bliver taget seriøst i stadigt større omfang. På messen deltager både forfattere, forlag og boghandlere, og både voksne og børn opfordres til at deltage (læs mere på fantasybogmesse.dk).

Hvem ved – måske ender fantasy for voksne med at være lige så mainstream som krimier er det i dag?

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